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What is a Digital Twin? | Hammer Missions



credit: Autodesk



Overview


A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical object, that is created using digital data. It is essentially a digital representation of a real-world object, which can be used to simulate, monitor, and analyze the performance of the physical object.


In this short post, we will be looking at what Digital Twins can be used for and why they are important both today and in the future.



Why Are Digital Twins Becoming Important?


Digital Twins give you ability to work in virtual space rather than the physical.


This gives engineers and designers the ability to review information and make the applicable changes without actually making those changes in a real world environment.


This is ideal for inspection and mapping where plans and changes can be made on the fly and decisions can be made from those changes without ever changing the structure or designated area.




What does this mean for architects, engineers and contractors (AEC)?


Digital twins are increasingly being used in the construction industry to improve the design, construction, and management of buildings and infrastructure.


A digital twin can be used to create a virtual model of a building or infrastructure project, allowing designers and engineers to test different scenarios and optimize performance before construction begins.


During the construction process, digital twins can be used to monitor progress and identify potential issues, such as delays or cost overruns. This can help project managers make real-time adjustments to keep the project on track.



Once construction is complete, digital twins can be used to monitor the building's performance, including energy use, temperature, humidity, and other factors. This can help building owners and managers optimize building operations and reduce energy costs.


Digital Twins can also be used to understand the the present condition of an existing site, this data can then be used to determine what outcome is needed to maintain that building.


Overall, digital twins offer significant benefits for the construction industry, including improved project outcomes, reduced costs, and optimized building performance throughout the building's lifecycle.



How Are Drones Helping The Digital Twin Revolution?


Drones are powering Digital Twins | Hammer Missions
Drones are powering Digital Twins | Hammer Missions

To create a Digital Twin you require a device to capture the data, this is where drones come into their own!


With the huge advancement in drone technology from the likes of DJI and other manufactures alongside software like Hammer Missions it's now easier than ever to capture high quality data to create 3D Models or Digital Twins.


A drone is basically a flying camera, that camera enables you to create an input for the digital twin!


Structured data can be captured using drones, processed using software, and then turned into 4D Models that represent a site or an asset.


4D Models.....so what is 4D?



4D Models & 'Alive' Digital Twins


4D is basically a 3D model over time (time being the 4th dimension), and when you look at it in the Digital Twin realm it means that you can keep a constant workflow of digital twins, these digital twins can be constantly updated and maintained along side your real world asset.



credit: Arup.com


Think of it like Google Maps, but constantly evolving and utilizing a greater resolution.


This 4D aspect also helps justify important decisions that can flow from the digital, your 4D Model, across to the physical, your asset. Like a revolving door, from data to the physical and back again.


So this begs the question, whats next?





Are Digital Twins An Early Sign For The Industrial Metaverse?


So what does happen next?


Technology is evolving at such a fast pace that this can only mean good things for our industry.


With the use of 4D modeling perhaps we will see a sharp uptake in predictive maintenance where you are able to pre-empt what the asset will require and when?


Something else that has grown in both its popularity and advancement is the use of AI or artificial intelligence. Once this has been factored in you will be able to use AI to predict changes and maintenance schedules, perhaps with the help of a part-human part-robotic workforce?



Overview


Overall, digital twins are a powerful tool that can help organizations improve efficiency, reduce costs, and optimize performance in a wide range of industries and applications.


We hope the article helps you understand digital twins and how they fit into the ever-evolving AEC industry.


If you'd like to learn more about how to capture high-quality data and get the most out of your drone flights using our cloud-based platform, please feel free to visit our learning resources.


If you haven't got a Hammer account and would like to try Hammer Missions you can get started on our free trial.


To learn more about our enterprise solutions, including mission collaboration, data processing, and AI solutions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at team@hammermissions.com.


We look forward to hearing from you.

— Team at Hammer Missions



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