In many areas of research, there is an increase in the use of 3D objects. One in ten scientists already states that they generate 3D models as part of their research activities (cf. TIB study on information gathering and publication behaviour 2017). In addition to architecture, civil and mechanical engineering - disciplines that traditionally plan and construct in three-dimensional space - they are also utilized in the fields of electrical engineering and information technology, physics and astronomy as well as in the conservation of cultural heritage. The types of models used differ considerably in some cases. In addition to CAD models, there are for example formats such as point clouds resulting from laser scans, which are used to capture buildings or landscapes. Moreover there are simulations in which the temporal dimension also plays a role. Furthermore printable 3D models that allow the direct generation of a physical object from the model are increasingly being created.
In research and development projects, prototypical services are developed for target group- and object-type-appropriate search functions, interactive use, archiving and publication of 3D models with a view to their transformation into TIB services. Demand-oriented development is based on environmental analyses and user studies in which the requirements of the scientists in the different disciplines are surveyed. Following user centred design principles, the development process is accompanied by evaluations.
In the project PROBADO 3D, which ended in 2011 and was funded for five years by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as a centre of excellence for research information, methods for the systematic search of 3D models from the architectural domain based on content-based indexing technologies have been developed. In PROBADO, different model contents can be identified and descriptive data can be created automatically. In addition, there are visual search options such as an intuitive search with 2D and 3D sketching tools and a result delivery during the drawing process, as well as a search with room connection graphs, which enables access via a desired room structure within buildings.
DURAARK is an interdisciplinary project for the development of methods and tools for semantic and geometrical enrichment as well as the long-term archiving of knowledge and three-dimensional data from the architectural domain such as point clouds from laser scans and BIM models. The project was funded from February 2013 to January 2016 under the 7th Framework Programme (EU); ICT Call 9.