Design engineer and CAD specialist Christian Deas has turned his hobby of flying drones into a business, thanks to SOLIDWORKS.
A SOLIDWORKS CAD user since 2001, Christian spotted a gap in the market when he realised he could improve the accuracy, cost and speed of landscape site surveys and inspections using the latest in drone technology and CAD design.
Having bought himself a drone for fun in his spare time, he started to see the potential benefits that his existing agricultural and utility clients could gain from aerial filming and set up UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) company Circumspectis
Christian says: “I’m a technical specialist using SOLIDWORKS CAD design to provide clients with important data and product scenarios. I started to realise that the two combined really well, especially if the end customer was someone in civil engineering or farming, where a full insight into a piece of land is so critical.”
Christian set about qualifying for his Civil Aviation Authority license, which now allows him to scan sites to a maximum height of 400ft and with a 500m line-of-sight.
“I feel very lucky that I’m getting to use something I regard as quite a ‘fun hobby’ in a very professional sense and which provides an important need to my customers and prospects,” he says.
“By using drones to capture significant landscape data, I can then use SOLIDWORKS to convert the 3D topographical scan into a useable surface CAD model.
“Drones are a cost-effective and risk-free way of inspecting buildings or areas that can be too dangerous to enter or access. We recently did a 3D scan near a beach by a cliff top and because each drone mission is set on GPS co-ordinates, we can fly the drone using the same flight data to compare scans over various periods of time to measure the subsidence and costal erosion.”
Read the full story in our SOLIDWORKS case study Circumspectis: Designing with Drones