by: Murtaza M. Khalil
The concept of 3D scanning looks quite simple. Just put the object and scanner in their assigned places, and your computer will take care of the rest. However, a lot of thought goes behind this technology. The surface you are scanning, equipment quality, software capabilities, and operator knowledge are some of the factors that may affect the quality of your results. 3D scanning displays unparalleled flexibility, performance, and other benefits but this technology has one significant drawback as well. It requires you to break the bank.
For a decent 3D scan, you need to invest a significant amount in a 3D scanner, a top-of-the-line software, and an expert operator. Given the overhead costs, it is smarter to rely on third party 3D scanning services instead. These services take care of all the technicalities of the process, which allows you to sit back and use the technology to its fullest. Due to the flexibility of this technology, 3D scanning services can have a viable business capable of serving multiple industrial sectors without changing its software and other equipment.
Even when you avoid the overhead costs, 3D scanning is still an expensive affair. This guide addresses some of the ways you can reduce the overall cost of using a 3D scanning service as a customer.
1 – Learn everything about the material
The nature of the material and surface play a huge part in dictating the quality of your scan. 3D scanning technology relies on lasers, which may be absorbed, refract, and reflect. Hence, shiny or transparent surfaces are harder to register for a 3D scanner. Similarly, items with too much absorbance will also go unregistered. It’s no use paying a lot of money to a scanning service and getting shabby results after waiting a while.
If possible, avoid scanning such surfaces and use other methods to get their digital designs. However, if 3D scanning is necessary, there are some things you can do to ensure the quality of your scan. A top-tier 3d scanning service will handle the pre-processing for you, but it’s always great for you to know about these tricks as well.
To make any object more suitable for a 3D scan, you can cover the entire surface with a temporary matte coating. This procedure allows you to obtain the best scan possible. Another trick is to use masking tape to cover the part before the scan. Masking tape is a cheaper alternative to a matte coating, but you’ll have to spend a lot of time removing it after the scan.
2 – Location
Another factor with the potential of putting a dent on your budget is the location of the 3D scanning service you select. Whether you are doing an on-premise scan, where operators come to your office/plant, or sending your object for scanning, your location will significantly affect the final bill. It’s better to select a company near you even if it is charging a little extra. You will be saving money by reducing the overall travel or courier charges.
3 – Know your aim and decide the settings accordingly
Just like any other project, you’ll have to deal with the dreaded triple constraints (cost, time, and scope) while dealing with a 3D scanning project. If you have a clear idea of your requirements, you can make the best decision according to the given circumstances. For instance, a rush order with a superior quality scan would require you to compromise on the cost, and an affordable order with decent quality would take more time.
Another reason for keeping the bigger picture in mind is to have a realistic expectation about the details of your scan. Even a regular scanner with limited capabilities will have the accuracy in several microns. However, you can always improve the overall precision and accuracy of your scan. As you go up the level, you’ll notice a significant increase in the prices. The options of 3D services available to you will also be lower as fewer services will have the advanced capabilities you require.
By knowing the overall requirements of your application, you can make an informed decision regarding the accuracy and keep the costs within your budget. This is only applicable for 3D scanning service that offers a different price bracket depending on the accuracy of the scan. If that’s not the case, you can take it easy and let the operators handle everything. Tangent Solutions deliver premium quality services with our state-of-the-art portable scanners and blue-light scanners that are in line with the modern industrial requirements.
4 – Prepare to use some CAD
CAD tools are an essential part of the 3D scanning process. You might not get a direct effect on the overall charges for a specific 3D scanning service, but having in-house CAD experts will save you a lot in post-processing costs. For design modifications and other reverse engineering applications, 3D scanning is only the first step. You’ll have to make a lot of modifications on a CAD software like Solidworks before your design is ready for the next stage. At Tangent Solutions, we have a dedicated team of CAD engineers who possess the ability to deliver high-quality CAD designs according to your specifications.
5 – Get competitive quotes
Our final advice for you is to study the market trends and compare quotations to get the best services at an acceptable price. Try to gauge the available 3D scanning services on the available equipment and their capabilities. Selecting the lowest bidder can backfire because that service might be relying on subpar equipment.
Tangent Solutions: The best 3D scanning service in town!
Looking for a perfect 3D scanning service for the best price may seem daunting. However, your search is over now!
Tangent Solutions takes pride in offering the best services at the most competitive prices. We believe that you deserve the best and ensure that with our high-quality equipment and expert operators. Our experience CAD department has worked on several precision-engineering projects and can process and deliver your scans in the shortest time possible.