If you have followed our previous blogs you must be clear about 3d printing technology is and its enormous list of advantages. The notable thing about our previous blogs however, is how we are making products out of only using a digital model. We will talk about how we are printing out of a solid mode! Magic? No, but the technology is so advanced it compels you to think so. This technology is called 3D Scanning.
Like most new technology, 3D scanning saves money and especially time at every point of the manufacturing process, anywhere from design to production. For example, the object above took only 10 seconds to scan. The same model will take minimum 3 to 4 days if you make the same thing from scratch.
So, what’s the need of 3D Scanning? There are countless applications where it can be used. A couple of instances are:
- Many Industrial products are complex and are based on CAD. For example, in automotive industry, where there are many complicated parts that are needed again for use. They can be scanned instead of making a CAD file all over again. Not only will this assure best quality, but also have an excellent maintenance time to time.
- It is also used in many medical applications. For example, in dentistry, 3D Scanner is used for scanning the shape of the patient and using CAD/CAM dental implants can be made.
The 3D Scanning Process:
Data collection: As this technology is laser based, it captures the complex shapes and a CCD camera records the data. The data will be recorded in three dimensions (XYZ) as the laser probe projects a line of laser light onto the surface and sweeps along the object. While this happens, the 2 sensor cameras that continuously record the laser.
Resulting data: As the laser scans over the entire object, the shape of the object is revealed with the help of million points called a “point cloud” on the monitor.
Reverse Engineering: After acquiring the resulting data, the object is then reverse engineered using CAD for correcting any imperfections. It also enables reproduction of the digital format of the object.
Types of 3d scanners
The 3D scanning technologies rely on different physical principles and can be classified in categories:
- Laser triangulation 3D scanning technology projects a laser beam on a surface and measures the deformation of the laser ray.
- Structured light (White or Blue Light) 3D scanning technology measures the deformation of a light pattern on a surface to 3D scan the shape of the surface.
- Photogrammetry, also called 3D scan from photographies, reconstructs in 3D a subject from 2D captures with computer vision and computational geometry algorithms.
- Contact based 3D scanning technology relies on the sampling of several points on a surface, measured by the deformation of a probe.
- Laser pulse (also called time of flight) 3D scanning technology is based on the time of flight of a laser beam. The laser is used to emit a pulse of light. The time of travel of the laser between its emission and reception gives the surface’s geometrical information. It ranges from 2m – 1000m.
Benefits of 3D Laser Scanners:
· Able to scan tough surfaces, such as shiny or dark finishes
· Less sensitive to changing light conditions and ambient light
· Often more portable
· Simpler design – easier to use and lower cost
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