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Technology is amazing! These days you can capture the shape of any object or item that you want to by shining a laser on it.
3D scanning has been a huge help to many different designs in fields such as engineering, manufacturing, and the industrial industry as well. It helps experts to catch physical data and enter it into their computer network.
They can have the exact measurements that they need within seconds, a process that would otherwise take hours to complete manually.
For those of you wondering how 3D scanning works, the information below is listed to help you grasp the process a little better!
Methods of 3D Scanning
When many people think of 3D scanning, they automatically think of a guy or girl in a white lab coat with a device that looks like a speed gun.
What most people don’t realize is that there are several different ways to get the measurements and data that a company needs.
Here are several amazing ways of 3D scanning, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each of them.
1. Laser-Driven Scanning
3D scanners come in many different forms, but the most common of them include a bed to set the item on top of.
When the item is set in place, the 3D scanner’s operator will activate the scanner, which will either scan the item itself or require the operator to scan it (if it’s handheld).
The laser is to be taken from the top down. It starts right above the top of the object and slowly scans down to the surface that it’s placed on.
The 3D scanner’s laser probe activates a laser light onto the surface of the object, while cameras (often more than one) capture the object’s measurements. Thanks to the cameras, even the most awkward of items can be captured.
As the cameras record the measurements that the laser is capturing, they also contort the laser to get the best reading possible.
Many experts claim this to be the best way to get as accurate of data measurements possible. However, investing in a laser 3D scanner can get pricey rather quickly, so some prefer to use the two other methods listed below instead.
3D scanning has a few different methods that don’t require lasers. One of those methods being photogrammetry, or measuring the item from photos.
In order to use photogrammetry, there needs to be (at least) two pictures of the same object that are taken from two different angles.
These measurements are used to get as much information on the object’s measurements, matter, and depth.
The process of photogrammetry will require you to take as many pictures as is needed to get a spot-on 3D depiction of the object. Some experts will tell you this is risky because it won’t yield as accurate results as other 3D scanning methods.
3. Structured Light Scanning
Another method of scanning measurements without the use of lasers is structured light scanning.
Rather than having a laser go up and down the object, this method uses a series of horizontal patterns that are placed on the object via a light projector.
Once the linear lines are projected on an object, the scanning software can read the measurements based on the distance between the end of each line. From there it can gather a detailed depiction of the object that’s being measured.
While this method is able to get accurate measurements, it certainly doesn’t come without faults.
Because this method of 3D scanning depends on lights so heavily, it can be thrown off by other surrounding light. In many scenarios, experts are forced to turn off all the lights while performing this 3D scanning process.
Even the slightest of light variations can disable it from making an accurate reading on the object. Thus leading to a frustrating process of data gathering.
What Is the Data Used for?
For a laser 3D scanner, the data it finds will result in millions of point clouds that the computer reads as the laser captures the object’s shape.
In the photogrammetry method, the data will show the depth and shape, along with exact measurements of the item.
With structured light scanning, the linear lines show the contortions of your object in great detail.
No matter what the results, the data that is provided is mainly used for modification purposes. A majority of engineering is about getting objects down to the exact measurement and weight they need to be.
If the data shows that the object is even one millimeter off of the preferred size, it can make a world of difference.
A great example of this is Nike’s use of 3D scanning in their shoes. While they recently pushed out a 3D foot scanner to tell you your ideal size, they also use it for their production.
When they create a shoe, they have an exact weight that the shoe needs to meet in order to provide as much cushion as possible with the least amount of resistance.
If the 3D scanner comes back saying the shoe is too heavy, then certain aspects of the shoe are modified to meet the preferred weight.
Learn More About 3D Scanning
Odds are that 3D scanning could benefit you if you’re running a product-based business.
Be sure to learn all that you can about how different companies use 3D scanning in order to find ways it might help your company’s product line.
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