This is the science of measurement, and it is of tantamount importance to engineers.
Quality and reliability of measurement matter more than ever in today’s hyper-competitive environment. Over the past two decades, 3D scanning has become a crucial tool in many manufacturers’ measurement and inspection arsenals. It’s an effective metrology technique that is trusted for its accuracy, reliability, speed, and ease of use. Its noncontact nature and exceptional flexibility make it ideal for measuring a wide range of parts in a wide range of places.
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- Laser Triangulation Scanners
This is one of the most popular and versatile 3D scan technologies. Laser triangulation scanners pass a laser line over the surface of a part, and using straightforward trigonometric concepts, calculate the distance from the sensor to the scanned object’s surface.
- Structured Light Scanners
Structured-light 3D scanners project a series of linear patterns onto an object and use sensors to recognize deformations in the patterns that indicate each pixel’s distance from the sensor. These systems are often referred to by their light source, with white light or LED blue light being common approaches.
- Medium And Long-Range Scanners
For scanning larger objects such as heavy equipment, aircraft, ships, buildings, or factory floors, there are two primary technologies available: Phase-shift and time-of-flight laser scanners.
Collecting copious amounts of measurement data is getting easier and easier. Modern 3D scanners collect 500,000 or even 1 million points per second, so you can measure the geometry of your parts with exceptional resolution and fidelity.
Reliably taking advantage of all that information requires the right scan-native software. Most 3D measurement software was not built to handle 3D scan data; software built to use data from stationary or portable CMMs or laser trackers is instead optimized to work with a small number of discrete measurements that are known to be individually accurate. Working with 3D scan data is very different for a number of reasons. The companies that make these non-scan-native software have done their best to make their un-optimized software architectures work with scan data, but the reality is none of them do it particularly well. To fully exploit the potential that 3D scanning offers, make sure you select 3D scan-native inspection software to ensure everyone who uses it measures confidently and reliably.