10 reasons to use 3D scanning

10 reasons to use 3D scanning

3D scanning will benefit anyone involved in manufacturing, engineering, design, development, analysis, quality inspection or testing. The GOM non-contact 3D scanning systems used by Physical Digital® can be employed at any stage in the manufacturing cycle, offering resource benefits at each point.

Top ten reasons to use 3D scanning in a project:

1. To ‘see’ designs at conceptualisation stage.

When conceptualising ideas, designers often use models in clay, foam or similar. 3D scanning will capture the object data and allow it to be used as renderings in concept illustrations. Using reverse engineering techniques (creating a 3D model or 2D drawings from scan data), engineers and designers can conceptualise designs before producing them as prototype or product.

Reverse engineered ring imageEngagement ring without stones 2

One example is the conceptualising of an engagement ring that was designed by one of Physical Digital’s engineers. Using highly-accurate 3D measurements of the diamonds from an existing family heirloom, our engineer was able to conceptualise his proposed new design and make amendments in CAD before having the ring made and the stones set in it.  

2. It saves time in the design stage.

In many cases, designers need to design around other parts or fit their designs to existing objects. By means of reverse engineering, new designs can incorporate the requirements of the manufactured part and build on the existing engineering optimisation.

Product Design Services

3. 3D scanning speeds up the prototyping process.

There are a number of ways in which 3D scanning can support the development of prototypes. It can enable a designer or artist to scale physical objects and to alter designs to meet different requirements. In addition, the use of 3D scanning can reduce the number of prototype design cycles since the scan data has been captured from highly-accurate 3D measurements of the physical object or component.

4. 3D scanning is used to ensure that parts fit together first time, without multiple iterations.

For example, one client needed to manufacture a new aircraft nose cone that would accommodate new hardware but remain symmetrical to the original form and fit the existing airframe. Using GOM’s highly-accurate 3D scanning systems, our engineers captured all the critical geometry 3D scan data from the existing nose cone, the airframe and the mating surfaces.

Nose Cone

5. To remanufacture parts when there is no CAD

To remanufacture parts when there is no CAD 3D scanning technologies mean that manufacturers can use modern techniques for remanufacture of parts that had been designed before CAD. One of our clients had a Lotus Sunbeam rally engine car which required a new sump design. The owner had no CAD model, so our 3D scanning experts captured the details from the existing sump. This created a polygon mesh from which our design engineers formed a CAD model using the latest software.

Lotus Sunbeam Sump2

The sump design was able to make use of modern materials and manufacturing processes, reflecting the current thinking for race car engine design. 

6. Comparison of ‘as-designed’ to ‘as-built’.

3D scanning allows engineers and manufacturers to compare ‘as-designed’ models to the ‘as-built’ condition of the existing manufactured components.

One of our clients, the Angelic Bulldog British motorcycle land speed record attempt team, required accurate 3D scanning to ascertain any differences between the design and manufacture of their engine and chassis in order to ensure that the powertrain would fit in the chassis unit. Watch the video here.

7. Fast, comprehensive quality control.

Fast, comprehensive quality control. Non-contact 3D scanning is able to quickly inspect the overall shape and size of components after manufacture, detecting any quality issues. Our ScanBox 5120, the only automated scanning facility of its type in the UK, allows manufacturers to check and inspect the quality of their components up to 2metres in size and of batches of hundreds or even thousands of parts.

 Scanbox At Work

8. 3D scanning is a fast, accurate way to digitise and archive artefacts. 

3D scanning is the fastest, most accurate way to digitise and archive artefacts. We have used 3D scanning to provide data for the reverse engineering of a wide range of historic items or art forms, some of which are of national importance. Recent projects include the 3D scanning of the 200-year-old prototype Davy lamp for the Royal Institution and the 3D scanning of the last remaining airworthy Battle of Britain Spitfire MkIIa for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

 Davy Lamp 3D scanning
Davy Lamp model

9. 3D scanning allows designers to update manufacturing methods.

3D scanning allows designers to update manufacturing methods. Using 3D scanning technology, designers can take advantage of the modern manufacturing methods available that might not have existed when components had been manufactured originally.

10. 3D scanning can transform the process of creating tooling for components.

Manufacturers often hand tune tooling to ensure the correct finish to a part. By using 3D scanning, these hand modifications can be captured and recreated for all tooling to ensure that all manufactured parts are produced to the same standard.  3D scanning inspection also enables engineers to analyse tool wear and predict or eliminate tool failure. If a certain tool fails then the 3D scan data already captured can be used to recreate the tool accurately.

So there you have it – ten reasons for 3D scanning technology to transform the design and engineering process for a vast range of industry sectors. 3D scanning enables the production of higher quality, better designed parts that are less expensive to manufacture. Physical Digital’s skilled engineers are experienced in scanning objects of any size and collecting physical data which can be delivered in any format. This means that it can be used immediately to improve designs and processes for almost any project.

To find out how 3D scanning can enhance your production cycle within any industry, contact us on 01483 750200 or email info@physicaldigital.com.

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