Engineers often face situations when they need certain mechanical parts reproduced but are left with no manufacturing data. Such a lack of valuable data can occur when the tool is very old or when there was a no documentation protocol during the time of manufacturing. When there is a major requirement for a mechanical part, it becomes necessary to recreate the files within a limited period of time. Taking measurements of the existing parts and then creating detailed sketches of the parts manually can be a time consuming process; it can also involve serious risks such as manual errors in data recording, quality validation and reporting method. In other words, such manual work requires plenty of time and resources without any assurance for quality and accuracy.

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The advanced industrial environment, thus makes use of 3D scanning services, which is an innovative technique to produce highly accurate results. 3D scanning technology helps to capture the parts details in highly accurate 3D digital form and allows the engineers to develop CAD drawings from the physical components within a very short period of time.

3D scanning – Its various applications

Companies offering mechanical product design services often make use of 3D scanning techniques to come up with extremely flawless part reproduction results. 3D scanning, forms a vital aspect of both Education as well as Commercial industry. This production technique is used extensively in numerous industries, such as Automotive, Aerospace, Medical and Consumer Products. 3D scanning allows users to simulate, create, collaborate and verify all 3D data for different projects.

Some of the most common uses of 3D scanning are listed below:

  • Reverse engineering for capturing lost designs or legacy products
  • For restoring or scaling up existing products
  • A 3D CAD data acquisition that helps in rapid prototyping
  • Inspection and Analysis
  • For dimensional deviation, CAD and part deviation
  • On machine inspection and installation alignment
  • Documentation for all archival purposes
  • Education and training
  • Industry specific requirements for creating database and/or blueprint drawings
  • Quality control, by enabling comparison between the CAD data and the scanned data

3D Scanning technology presents a range of benefits for all of the above applications, which are discussed below:

  • High accuracy and precision;
  • Realistic output for various conceptual prototypes;
  • To identify the in-and-out tolerance of components;
  • Helps in calculating cross sections of various complex parts;
  • A great range of physical components, both simple and complex can be scanned easily after which their 3D models can be developed

Working principle of 3D scan

Companies offering detail engineering services produce a wide range of 3D scanners for their clients. The scanners are used for handling different mechanical techniques such as lasers, X-rays, white light, destructive slicing, theodolite, projective geometry etc. for capturing surface data from some physical object. The 3D scanners and the software components that they make use of produces polygon meshes and point clouds. These are made out of numerous measurements of the scanned surface which are then used to create a precise 3D model with 3rd party software programs. The exported 3D model can be read in 3D CAD programs like Inventor, Solidworks and Pro/E. 2D drawings can also be created from this data as well, which can then be used for a wide variety of purposes.


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