3D Scanning

3D Scanning is an accurate and fast method of getting the physical measurements of an object onto your computer in a methodical manner, this results in what is known as 3D scan data.

The 3D scan data, once on the computer can then be analysed to obtain all the dimensions of the physical object, such as height, width, length, surface area etc.  This is often used as a bridge between physical objects and modern manufacturing by converting the data into CAD models.

There are many methods for capturing 3D measurements and many types of scanning equipment that can achieve this:

  • Phase shift laser scanners – these work by comparing the phase shift in the reflected laser light to a standard phase.  It is similar to time of flight detection except that the phase of the reflected laser light further refines the distance detection.
  • Laser triangulation – a laser line or point is projected onto an object and then its reflection captured with a sensor located at a known distance from the lasers source.  The reflection angle can then be interpreted to yield its 3D measurements.
  • Time of flight laser scanners – these emit a pulse of laser light that is then reflected off of the object to be scanned.  The reflection is detected with a sensor and the time that elapses between emission and detection yields the distance to the object since the speed of the laser light is precisely known.

Anyone in manufacturing, engineering, design, development, surveying or testing can benefit from 3D scanning.  Some advantages are:

  • Save time in design work
  • Quickly capture all of the physical measurements of any physical object
  • Utilise modern manufacturing on parts that were originally manufactured before CAD



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