3D Scanning is a process of digitally collecting information on the shape of an object using either white light or laser light, with collected data utilized to create three-dimensional models. Numerous varieties of 3D scanning and Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) technology exist, including stationary 3D scanners, handheld 3D scanners and arm-based 3D scanners. Why utilize 3D scanning for your project? Here are the key benefits:
3D scanning allows you to gain information that would otherwise be expensive to obtain without a scan. The process allows for rapid feedback on a part or product, quickly and easily showing areas that differ from Computer Aided Design (CAD) or original part expectations. From a scan, you can learn where dimensions and measurements start to differ from original prototypes or designs. This ability is very helpful for additive manufacturing, as you can adjust the design of your part to ensure that the final print matches the model.
The data collected by 3D scanning gives you the relationship between all of the surface points of a part (point cloud), which can then be used to make a 3D model based entirely off of the data measured. By doing a full sweep of the surface of the object with a 3D scanner, you capture the shape of the object (mesh) in data that is easy to translate into CAD. Reverse engineering allows you to create 3D models on parts where molds or original drawings have been lost. This allows you to make additional parts, run finite element analysis (FEA), and recreate critical product information. It can be utilized in a vast array of engineering applications.
Many 3D inspection systems function not only as a scanner, but also as a CMM – measuring physical geometric characteristics of an object. Using a contact CMM probe, you can record the X, Y and Z coordinates of a part or product, creating a detailed point cloud of the object’s critical features. The point cloud data collected from a CMM device can be compared to the original CAD model, allowing for targeted inspection of your part or product.
For additional information on how ARL can help with all your additive manufacturing needs, please feel free to contact our team for testing, our sister company SabeRex for production, or TekRex for design and development.