Using 3D scanning for engineering is the fastest and most cost effective way to make alterations to an existing part or product. The traditional method of taking measurements with a calipers to create a 3D model from scratch is both time consuming, and often inaccurate for items with complex curves and designs.
Our Artec scanner captures huge amounts of cloud point data to an accuracy of 0.05mm. Using specialised software, this data is fused into a high polygon mesh with a resolution of up to 0.1mm. This mesh can be exported in an 3D file format such as obj. or stl., ready for 3D printing, visualisations, and quality control analysis.
Converting the Scan Mesh
For reverse engineering purposes it is usually desirable to have the high poly mesh converted into a NURBS model format so it can used in a 3D CAD program such as Solidworks. While it is possible to make slight alterations to the polygon mesh without converting it to a nurbs surface, you will be limited to minor fixes. When more accurate or demanding changes have to be made you must convert the mesh. Converting the polygon mesh model to a NURBS model is a manual process of modelling around the scan to create a clean, solid object with a perfectly smooth surface finish. We use deviation analysis software to ensure that the new solid model is accurate to the original scan. Finished files are manufacture ready and can be used for 3D printing or for technical drawings. These files can be exported as STEP, IGES, Parasolid and more. We offer this additional file conversion service as an add-on package to having an object 3D scanned.
The accuracy and high resolution of our Artec Spider blue laser scanner makes it the perfect tool for quality inspection and quality control. It quickly and precisely captures the intricate 3D form of entire small objects or the complex details of larger objects.
Our scanner is able to recreate every part of an object, from sharp edges to the geometry of a surface, and every tiny detail in between. The resulting 3D model can be superimposed onto the original 3D CAD design, allowing a detailed comparison between the “as made” and “as designed” models. This is a fast and efficient way to ensure that there are no faults in a part before, during or after production.
After we post-processes the captured cloud point data, fusing it into a highly accurate polygon mesh representation of the original scanned object, we export the model into our deviation analysis software. With the 3D Scan and original 3D CAD model overlayed we can directly draw a comparison between them, measuring any variations within a given tolerance, and producing a clear and definitive deviation map.
This map can be utilised as tool to immediately conclude whether a part has any defects, is accurate to the original model ,and verify the compliance of the manufactured part’s quality.
Film & TV
3D scanning provides an excellent substitute to some traditional processes used in prosthetics, prop making and practical effects in film production. Not only can 3D technology achieve greater accuracy and definition, but it can do so more quickly and efficiently with much reduced fuss.
A key area where 3D scanning is proving a popular solution is as an alternative to head and body casting. Instead of an actor having to endure the messy and claustrophobic experience of having their head cast in silicone and plaster, our experienced 3D scanning specialist can perform a 3D scan onsite in only a few minutes. The resulting 3D model has is extremely accurate, with a resolution of up 0.1mm, meaning every wrinkle, bump and unique little detail is perfectly captured and recreated.
The produced high polygon mesh is ready to be 3D printed at full size on our powder printer. The print is suitable for making moulds and casts for prosthetic, make up design and props.
The 3D model can also be delivered in any 3D file format, such as obj., stl., etc., ready to import into 3D software for animation or digital effect purposes.
Props, Costume & Set Design
Any project that requires an object be replicated, reverse engineered or converted into a digital format, can hugely benefit from incorporating 3D scanning into its workflow. A 3D scan and print of an object can be achieved faster than making a mold, and poses no risk of damage to the original. Where accuracy, speed and consistent replication is required, a 3D scan/print combo is ideal. Similarly, is a digital version of an already made prop is needed, a 3d=D scan is significantly faster and true to the original that attempting to 3D model it from scratch.
As the scanner is completely portable,our experienced 3D scanning specialists can call out on set or in studio to perform 3D scans. Alternatively, suitable objects can be couriered to our own workshop for scanning. All post processing will be completed in our own studio. Please note that for on set scanning access to electricity will be required.
The use of 3D scanning technology has hugely improved preservation methods. It has never been easier or quicker to generate a 3D model of an object. Digitising artefacts has many benefits as it gives the artefact an unlimited lifespan when the original piece could erode or decompose over time if exposed to the elements, ensuring that future generations will still have access to invaluable historic artefacts.
Scanned items can be catalogued and stored on databases for future use. Scientists or researchers can then interact with the 3D model, taking measurements and analysing them without worrying about handling the delicate artefacts.
Restoration is another area where 3D scanning can be beneficial to preservation, when existing artefacts have been damaged it is possible to model up the missing or damaged part of the item, and join it to the polygon mesh to restore the item to its former glory.
Museums are beginning to digitalise some artefacts and display them in 3D model viewers online or in the museum allowing a more people to have access to them. This allows the public to see the artefacts in 3D rather than pictures.
Our Artec Spider blue laser scanner is ideal for the use in historical preservation. With an accuracy of 0.05mm, resolution of up to 0.1mm, and 1.3mpx colour texture, the resulting digital 3D models will be perfect reproductions of the originals. The scanner is completely non-contact, as it uses structured light technology that does not require stick-on targets, and is completely portable so delicate artefacts do not have to be moved. Our 3D scanning specialist can quickly perform any and all scanning onsite, and complete the post-processing procedure of the models later at our studio. We are experienced with treating invaluable and fragile artefacts and their environment with the utmost care and respect that they require.
Highly accurate replicas of scanned objects can be created using our professional, industrial grade 3D printers. Artefacts can be reproduced in full colour with a beautiful sandstone finish, suitable for display purposes. Large objects can either be printed in sections or scaled to create a miniature. We can also printed to a extremely high resolution of 16 microns on our Polyjet plastic printer. Though these print would have to be painted after printing if colour is requires, they are extremely robust parts that will hold up to much handling and dropping.
Applications of 3D Technology in a Museum Setting
- Preservation. Forever preserve historical and priceless artefacts in a 3D digital format. An ideal backup version in case anything was ever happens to the original.
- Increased Exhibition Capacity Allow greater access to artefacts which, because of space limitations or protective reasons, cannot be on display by creating a “virtual exhibition”.
- Global Education. Give researchers and interested people from all over the world a way to study and experience a piece of cultural heritage in 360° high definition, even if they cannot physically visit the museum themselves.
- Disability Access Vastly Improve the museum experience for the visually impaired by allowing them to physically handle and feel exact replicas of objects that are usually kept behind glass and are not accessible other than through sight
- Interactive Engagement for Children. Enhance museum exhibits for younger children and school groups by including precise replicas of some of the most popular artefacts. Having the opportunity to hold and engage with a piece of history though the sense of touch, there is heightened level of involvement and understanding from the children.