Are you looking to incorporate 3D laser scanning services into your business? 3D scanning services are now readily accessible, providing extreme detail and efficiency in your product design process.
What is 3D Laser Scanning?
3D laser scanning is the process of utilizing laser technology to scan over a physical object to collect data on its shape, detail, and appearance. A series of lasers record data by way of triangulation; measuring distance and angle through a series of targets placed around the scan subject.
Many features or consistencies of an object cannot be seen with the naked eye. Scan data visualize these attributes down the thousandth of a millimeter and can be manipulated for various applications. This includes reverse engineering, 3D inspection, data analysis, and conceptual projects.
A 3D laser scanning business will collect this data in order to construct digital 3D models. Laser scanners are based on different technologies that are available in the market, each with its own limitations, advantages, and costs.
Specific industries that utilize 3D laser scanning services include aerospace, augmented reality, industrial design, manufacturing, and rapid prototyping; commonly known as 3D printing.
What Kind of Files Are Created?
Most 3D laser scanning platforms have their own native software. This software allows scan data to be post-processed, manipulated, and create the files needed for the next step. As mentioned above on how 3D laser scanning works, the scanner records everything within the environment by the targets. This means all erroneous data has to be deleted.
After post-processing, scan data is essentially a mesh-only file. Chose to export to STL, OBJ, and 3MF, to name a few of those available. Refining scan data means a scanning technician will export it to another software in order to make files for manufacturing. Most will know these files as CAD, computer-aided design files. Common file formats for CAD are STEP, IGES, or a universal XT file.
You can reach out to the 3D laser scanning business of your choice to inquire about sample file folders. California-based Tangent Solutions has a well-organized sample drive with many files that can be downloaded to verify your project needs.
File delivery after 3D laser scanning services depends upon your project goals and how experienced you are with CAD software.
Why Should I Use A 3D Laser Scanning Business?
Generally, the purpose of 3D laser scanning is to create a 3D model. This 3D model is made up of a point cloud of geometric samples on the surface of the subject that will then later be used to conclude the final shape. This is known as reverse engineering.
Reverse engineering is the process of deconstructing a project to reproduce, modify, or analyze. 3D laser scanning services speed up this process ten-fold by recording data instantly. From there, scan data is redrawn and essential planes, sketches, and dimensions are transferred to CAD design software.
If you are looking to manufacture your project, you will need CAD files. A CAD file is a Parasolid, 3D model that holds essential information including tolerance, dimension, and cycling data.
What Else Can You Do With 3D Scan Data?
Simply put, the main goal of using 3D laser scanning is to be able to build a precise and realistic three-dimensional version of a subject. A 3D laser scanning business can also provide scan data in order to analyze against original CAD files, provide quality control reports, and other 3D inspection services.
Many companies use 3D laser scanning services to be a third party in data analysis. A company may need their product to hold certain tolerances and their manufacturer may not be able to deliver reports showing this. A 3D laser scanning business can scan the project in question to deliver the third set of data points, even without knowing the satisfactory datum.
There are more opportunities to utilize 3D scan data. Current industries that are utilizing 3D laser scanning services in their business include:
- Industrial Design and Engineering
- Medical Industry
- Forensic Science
- Archeology and Heritage Preservation
- Art and Design
Budgeting For 3D Laser Scanning Services
3D laser scanning has gained popularity with different businesses because of its versatile way of boosting productivity, eliminating unnecessary costs, and creating new and exciting products.
Initially, 3D scanning services may seem like a hefty investment. A 3D laser scanning business may advertise both in-house 3D laser scanning along with 3D mobile laser scanning services, for large and remote projects. The cost of the two services may have a large discrepancy however the convenience of not having to transport a large or multiple-piece project, is worth the price.
For manufacturing goals, the initial investment to have your product digitized means the ease of modifications later. When creating CAD files, you can easily make changes for larger sizing, design changes, or incorporation of a manufacturing process.
One of the biggest challenges that any business faces is the research and development phase. Budget is also another factor that comes into this process. By using a 3D laser scanning business, the opportunity to utilize 3D scanning technology during R&D eliminates the cost of investing heavily into the equipment.
As mentioned earlier, 3D laser scanning systems have the investment of not only the scanning hardware but also the yearly software subscription, computer to run the complex software, and triangulation targets. Using a 3D laser scanning service puts off the financial burden.
Most 3D laser scanning businesses provide service by project or even have the opportunity to work on a monthly retainer. 3D laser scanning companies like Tangent Solutions have in-house design engineers.
Companies have the opportunity to outsource their engineering department with the accessibility to a company like Tangent; even having them take on all of the design processes for their project.
After 3D Scanning Services
Completing the 3D laser scanning services will leave you with CAD files or scan data, ready for production. Since incorporating 3D laser scanning from the very beginning of your project, any work moving forward is efficient. This leaves time for feedback that will enhance performance and problems, before manufacturing.
Modifying or adding existing objects to an already digitized assembly is faster. Saving CAD data means you can modify it, over and over.
There is no doubt that 3D scanning has numerous advantages to your business and the overall efficiency of each project you deliver to the market.
Making full use of this 3D scanning technology will ensure accuracy from the very beginning of your dream project, which in turn, will speed up the time needed to put your project on the market.