3D scanners have taken time to grab hold of the market. This is because initially, they were large-scale devices – much like computers were back in the day – and have taken time to reduce in size. However, now there are smaller scanners that fit into a corner of the room. They can successfully scan different objects using a laser probe that runs over an object’s surface to successfully map all three dimensions.
To help you think of the possible applications for 3D scanners, here three benefits or uses for them.
Prototyping And Modification
Creating a prototype is an expensive process, especially if it’s done incorrectly using the wrong measurements or details and then must be redone.
One of the benefits of using 3d scanning services is that a trained team can use their equipment to obtain the exact geometrics and shape of physical objects. As a result, it entirely removes any guesswork and replicates the scanned shape of an existing object and turns it into a CAD-compatible graphical file (SolidWorks, AutoCAD). From there, new prototypes can be created for different internal parts, but while still maintaining the necessary outer dimensions too.
Using a skilled team is sometimes preferable because there’s no need to employ and train staff. For small projects, it’s more economical too. Renting a 3D scanner – rather than purchasing one – is another option too.
Due to the level of competition, the need to get first to market and to keep up with demand, it’s necessary for companies to push new products out quickly. When doing so, sometimes speed leads to manufacturing standards slipping in key areas.
In many situations, a part or product must meet certain standards to be usable. If it’s manufactured incorrectly, then it won’t slot into the place where it’s needed to function. It will then perform poorly or unreliably or not at all.
Therefore, companies should use 3D scanning to verify the dimensions of their products using random sampling or one product from each significant batch. Doing so, it’s possible to spot deviations from standard parameters and then determine whether the product is still viable or not. Fixing a manufacturing plant set up to correct for found errors avoids them reoccurring, potentially saving considering sums in duff batches and needing to issue a costly product recall notice.
Missing Original CAD File? Recreate It
When it’s discovered that the original CAD file for the product design is missing and the backup is nowhere to be found either, then a company has a major problem.
The saving grace is often that the company still has one of the parts or products to hand. With the part, they can 3D scan it to verify its physical dimensions to an exacting degree. Also, with a product, it’s possible to complete a scan of it as it is, then break it down to its parts and scan those individually. This can be continued until even the smallest of parts have been individually scanned.
Once done, the product or single part is then available as a CAD-compatible file to be used for computerized manufacturing purposes once again. This is a genuine lifesaver when CAD files go missing.
3D scanners are extremely useful for manufacturing businesses. They foster new possibilities and can save a company from a costly mistake.