Combining the Best Technologies for the Ultimate in 3D Modeling

Cambridge startup Scanifly isn’t just another drone data platform.  With a background in solar technology and a clear view of the value proposition for drone data, founder John Novak and his team are combining technologies for the best in 3D modeling for the enterprise – and beyond.


Starting with solar technology applications, Scanifly has developed feature-rich solutions designed to maximize the work that drones can do.  The company’s background in the vertical shows through: Scanifly’s product accounts for every step of the process in solar design.  Scanifly allows providers to design an installation on a “hyper-accurate” 3D model of the building, and adds elements including a detailed solar shade report, production estimates, and cost analysis. The company says that Scanifly can double the number of on-site assessments that a business can complete in a day.

The Scanifly offering doesn’t end with solar.  The company has introduced a piece of hardware that could be a game changer across industries: Flydar.

Flydar, Scanifly’s 3D scanner

Flydar, Scanifly’s 3D scanner

The Flydar sensor combines LiDAR technology with cameras – creating a 3D model that provides the accuracy of LiDAR with the realism of images.  The result – a colorized point cloud – has significant impact for industry.

“Using the solar example, the ROI becomes very clear,” says Scanifly’s Director of Marketing, Ross McFadden.  “With the Flydar model, providers can actually see very small HVAC vents on the roof- without sending someone up to check.  A traditional 3D model gives you most of what you need; a Flydar model gives you all of it.”

At 6.9 pounds, the Flydar mounts on a DJI Matrice but can be customized to fly on any drone that can carry the payload.  Flydar is also the only LiDAR aerial unit available that carries an integrated battery, allowing for longer flight endurance.

In another great combination of technologies, Scanifly allows users to combine models.  This means that a construction team can take accurate aerial footage of a planned site – and place their architectural model of the proposed building on top of it.  Layering models makes sense for all areas of a building enterprise, from design to sale.

While drone companies are less prevalent outside of Silicon Valley, this East Coast startup is moving forward quickly, offering integration with major industry players like DroneDeploy.  And although the value for enterprise is clear, McFadden says that Scanifly is for everyone.  “Anyone can use Scanifly,” says McFadden.  “Whether you want to design your new deck or keep a fantastic travel diary on your next vacation, anyone can benefit from 3D modeling.”