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Get ready to learn with the digital twin of Alberta Pipe Trades College

Education has never been easier with Matterport’s digital representation of APTC’s mechanical room

When Alberta Pipe Trades College began recording their campus for future students’ perusal, they weren’t initially planning to make the entire campus accessible to prospective learners. At APTC, students attend courses and receive hands-on trade skills for their future goals. Their education goes further than traditional classroom settings. Students regularly participate in the college’s weld shop, handle a unique rigging apparatus – standard even in nuclear plant maintenance –, and a host of other intricate and technical arenas. 

It only makes sense that future students receive a full picture of what their future education will entail. With the help of Matterport tools, future learners can explore their potential instruction spaces and begin their learning journey from the moment they arrive at the website. 

The APTC Mechanical room is no exception – except perhaps for one tiny yellow alien! Virtual visitors are able to explore the full room, walk around the piping systems they will one day master, and begin forming questions for their expert teachers. While previous systems only gave students a single 2D view of these spaces, Matterport systems take the digital experience a step further.

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We couldn’t wait to hear how Matterport digital twins complemented the hands-on learning APTC offered, and so Glen Aspen, an instructor at Alberta Pipe Trades College, gave us the full scoop.  

What inspired the 3D capture of this space?

Largely it started as a smaller project tied in with an updated website; then we realized that we could shoot the complete campus with a series of seamless shots. 

What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?

We are a trades college and we are immensely proud of our shops and the first-class training we provide; from hands-on practical to static displays – it all leads to a complete learning experience for our students.

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What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring your 3D tour? 

While the trades haven’t changed tremendously in the last 100 years – technology affects all of us. We are able to bridge the old and new for the betterment of the trade and our students. Even our mechanical room, generally smaller in size than other classrooms, is large enough for tours and visitors.

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Do you have any plans to capture more 3D experiences? 

Yes! The scans to date have only been inside facilities – next will be our crane and rigging yard.

Anything else you would like to add?

We were able to complete very large scans, and mid-scan I switched to an iPad Pro. I highly recommend using that platform rather than your smartphone. 

Within our building, we also have a mezzanine which caused some aggravation (on my part) as the program only recognizes full floors. I found a workaround which was somewhat successful, and would recommend the ability to add “half floors”. Overall, though, the system was very good.

And, for a bit of whimsy - in each major area I placed a small yellow alien. Find it if you can!

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