There are two options to consider when selecting the right 3D scanner for your application and scanning needs.
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There are a number of key factors that influence the price of a 3D scanner. When looking to purchase a 3D scanning system, it is important to determine your requirements to figure out which scanner would be best suited for your needs and your budget.
This week’s blog post is contributed by 3D3 Solutions’ customer, Kevin Carr from ScanMatter Studios, Inc.
Brooks Sports contacted ScanMatter Studios, Inc to explore the option of moving their physical-based shoe samples to the digital realm. Every color or material change on a physical shoe sample had to be ordered from the manufacturer which was not only costly, but had a long lead time to see the results. Creating a digital sample would allow the designers to see their changes in near real-time at a fraction of the cost. Now the question came, how do we create a digital sample that looks identical to the physical product? The Solution: 3D scanning. This would only require Brooks Sports to make one physical sample of each model in the season line up. Using 3D3 Solutions’ HDI Advance 3D Scanning System, we were able to capture the rich details needed to convey the design intent in a digital format. FlexScan3D, the 3D capture software included with the scanner, made it quick and easy to align and process the data. Photogrammetry data alignment, along with the turntable and high resolution color texture capture option, made the HDI Advance our preferred scanning system for product viz projects. In the end, the client was impressed with the time and cost savings as a result of the new process.
What is 3D post-processing software?
3D scanners output raw 3D scan data in the form of points or polygon mesh. 3D post-processing software allows users to clean up 3D scan data and/or transform the data for its final purpose, whether it’s for visualization, reverse engineering, CNC machining, or 3D inspection.
Why do I need 3D post-processing software when the 3D scanner includes 3D scanning software?
A great way to demonstrate this is to use photography as an example. A camera and a 3D scanner behave similarly because they are both equipment used to acquire information from the real world. A camera is used to take photographs while a 3D scanner takes 3D scans of real world objects. A camera has some basic editing functionality to make minor edits to photographs like cropping or red eye reduction. However, if you want to use advanced editing features to edit photographs, you would need to use post-processing software like Photoshop.
In the previous blog post, Ways to Automate 3D Scanning, we briefly explained the steps to create a full 3D model from a physical object. The best way to illustrate this process is through a video demonstation. Below is a video of the 3D scanning process using a white light 3D scanner (also known as a structured light 3D scanner). White light 3D scanners are categorized as non-contact 3D scanning where the scanner scans without physical contact with the object to ensure there is no measurement interference.
In the previous blog post, Ways to Automate 3D Scanning, we discussed a few ways to automate 3D scanning to reduce scanning and processing time. Another way to speed up the process is to automate the alignment of 3D scanner data. This process is called photogrammetry data alignment using markers.
Markers are generally small, round stickers that you place either on the scan subject or on the surface the subject rests on. After scanning the subject and generating a mesh, the 3D scanner searches for the markers and attempts to align them with the previous scan. Here are some of the benefits to using markers for data alignment:
- Scanning with markers is a faster and more convenient way of aligning multiple scans. The alignment algorithm is greatly sped up by having far fewer reference points to search for and to match up for alignment.
- It is easier to align 3D scan data for objects that have no distinct geometry features (ie. cylindrical pipes) and/or large objects.
- This method yields more accurate data alignment results compared to other registration methods.
In our blog post, Tips for 3D Scanning Small Objects, we offered several tips on scanning small objects to get good results. Recently, our team received an email from Simon Stone, our UK distributor from Mech Innovation Limited. He sent us his latest 3D scanning results for a two pence coin.
Looking at the raw 3D scans we were very impressed with his results. The diameter of the coin is 25.9 millimeters and the coin details are approximately 0.1mm deep. No post-processing was done to the 3D scans. They were taken using a 3D scanning system built using FlexScan3D Software with a pair of 2 megapixel (MP) cameras and 5MP 25mm lenses. The 3D scanner can produce scans of a small object with great clarity and definition.
For most projects, 3D scanning is the first part of the project which involves creating a physical object into a digital 3D model. To create a full 3D model that includes all sides of an object, the 3D scanner must first capture 3D scans of an object from several directions. Capturing 3D scans from all sides involves taking a scan from one side, turning the object, and taking a 3D scan from another side.
PHOTO: A single 3D scan of a boot. You will need to take several scans from all sides in order to create a full 3D model.
With the increasing prevalence of non-contact 3D scanning in recent years, people are faced with two specific types of 3D scanners more often than others: laser and white light. It is easy to get confused about how these two technologies compare with each other. Here is a brief overview of each technology: