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LMI Technologies blog focuses on providing valuable resources to keep you informed on the latest news in the area of 3D scanning and 3D inspection.

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Recent Posts

5 Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Inspection Solution

Posted By Chi Ho Ng on August 14, 2014 at 4:05 PM

When looking to purchase an inspection solution for quality control, there are many options and factors to consider. In terms of 3D inspection, solutions can range from various combinations of 3D components where all the parts are purchased separately and assembled by the user, to 3D smart sensors that come in all-in-one pre-calibrated packages, as illustrated below.

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Overcoming Inspection Challenges for Automotive Assembly Applications

Posted By Chi Ho Ng on July 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Quality control is especially important in the automotive industry as people’s lives are put at risk when vehicles are not manufactured correctly. Not meeting quality standards can threaten an automaker’s reputation, ultimately damaging the brand and the business. Consequently, implementing a good inspection system in the manufacturing process is essential.

Inspection for automotive assembly applications has its own set of challenges. Automotive assembly lines typically have hundreds of inspection points. These inspection points include in-process monitoring, individual subassembly monitoring, and critical inspection of many points on the assembled bodies in white. Many inspection points must be monitored to ensure that components fit properly and connecting features are aligned correctly during the installation process. During final assembly, vehicles need to be inspected for proper geometry. Having a proper inspection solution in place provides confidence that consistent product quality levels are met during in-process and at final product assembly.

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The Possibilities of 3D Scanning and Inspection Technologies

Posted By Terry Arden on May 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Working in the machine vision industry for 28 years, I am still amazed by how vast the world of 3D scanning really is and the untapped potential this technology has to offer. With technical advancements in 3D scanning and the adoption of consumer-based 3D scanners on the rise, the industry continues to evolve.

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Free Interactive Photo Imaging Book on iTunes

Posted By Pauline Tang on April 3, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Interactive Photo Imaging is an interactive textbook for students of photography and interactive media published by Moshe Caine from the Hadassah Academic College Jerusalem. It provides a comprehensive yet simple overview of the transition of the digital photographic and imaging technologies from a passive medium to one where the creator and user alike may interact with the visual content and extract a richer comprehension of the content and context.

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IEEE Sensors Journal Article: An Automatic Evaluation Procedure for 3-D Scanners in Robotics Application

Posted By Pauline Tang on March 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM

In February, an independent study was published in the IEEE Sensors Journal titled "An Automatic Evaluation Procedure for 3-D Scanners in Robotics Application". The IEEE Sensors Journal is a peer-reviewed, monthly online, bimonthly print journal devoted to sensors and sensing phenomena. A non-profit organization, IEEE is the world's largest professional association for the advancement of technology.

The article states that since several different 3D scanner technologies exist, selecting the optimal 3D scanner for a specific application is not an easy task. The article evaluated different 3D scanners, including the HDI Advance 3D Scanner, for Robotics Applications where high quality data of stationary scenes are required. Various 3D sensors with highly varying properties exist. Using a portable test plate, eight scanners have been tested using standardized procedures. The 3D scanners were compared both qualitatively and quantitatively.

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Manufacturing Case Study: From 3D Scanning to CAD

Posted By Thomas Tong on February 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

This week’s blog post is contributed by 3D3 Solutions’ distributor in India, Aman Bir Singh, from Rasco Automotive Systems Private Limited

PHOTO: Digital 3D model of a physical prototype produced using a white-light 3D scanner (also known as structured-light 3D scanner)

Designers need an efficient workflow to convert their design prototype into a mold for mass production. Rasco Automotive Systems recently collaborated with a commercial automotive manufacturer to achieve this goal using a process called Scan to CAD.

In this project, the design prototype is a seat that was designed by hand. The Scan to CAD process involves using a 3D scanner to capture digital 3D scans of the prototype. The 3D scans have the prototype measurements which are used to create a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) model. The CAD model is then used to create a mold of the prototype for final production. In this project, Rasco Automotive Systems scanned the prototype using the HDI Advance R1 scanning system.

In this project, Rasco Automotive Systems encountered three challenges they were able to solve successfully:

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Tips for 3D Face Scanning with Hair

Posted By Pauline Tang on February 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM

In the past, capturing hair was an exercise in futility. For a head scan, the facial features would look great, but the person's hair would barely be visible or it would not show up at all. Scanning hair can be a challenge for many types of 3D scanners including structured-light systems. Hair consists of very fine and partially translucent filaments which scatter the light and are often interpreted as noise during 3D reconstruction. As a result, these areas are usually removed from typical scan data. With the release of the latest version of FlexScan3D software (version 3.1.7) that powers the HDI 3D Scanners, we introduced a new High Sensitivity mode to address this shortcoming.

This article provides an overview on acquiring usable hair scans specifically for FlexScan3D. While it is mainly targeted at scanning human hair, it also applies to scanning other objects, such as fuzzy clothing, stuffed animals, or dense vegetation.

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Sustainable Archaeology Animation Unit Creates Digital Archives of Archaeological Collections using 3D Scanning

Posted By Pauline Tang on December 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

PHOTO: Digital artifact produced by the HDI Advance 3D Scanner (Video of the 3D model in 360 degrees)

Sustainable Archaeology, and its Sustainable Archaeology Animation Unit (SAAU), has taken innovative steps to make Ontario’s archaeological records accessible to researchers, students, and the public without stepping into a museum or storage facility. Sustainable Archaeology is a research initiative at Western University funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The SAAU, the first animation studio dedicated to archaeology, was established as a joint collaboration between Sustainable Archaeology, the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, and theskonkworks Inc. Its mandate is to combine three-dimensional (3D) artifact digitization and computer generated imagery (CGI) to achieve the long term preservation and digital archiving of Ontario’s archaeological heritage. The Animation Unit received funding from the Ontario Museums Technology Fund and a MITACS Accelerate Internship award.

One of the most important aspects of the SAAU is their commitment to accuracy and completeness when virtually reconstructing archaeological sites and artifacts. Sustainable Archaeology had contacted 3D3 Solutions to propose 3D scanning solutions that would allow for the digitization of large archaeological collections quickly and accurately. The system had to be able to handle large volumes of artifacts that range in different shapes and sizes, as well as encapsulate the true likeness of the artifacts with high resolution color and texture capture.

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Findings from 3D Measurement Study: How Behavior Impacts Measurement

Posted By Thomas Tong on July 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM

As the Annual Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC) is approaching next month, we found an interesting measurement study report released in Fall 2011 conducted by the organization on How Behavior Impacts Your Measurement. The report is a follow up of previous studies conducted by CMSC to explore the need for personnel certification in portable metrology.

The 2009 study found that a certification program would be a definite value for the metrology community. Currently the operator, which is the greatest potential source of error, is not required to be certified. The 2010 study examines the importance of understanding core measurement principles, implementing the right measurement strategy, and having a questioning culture when an operator is using metrology equipment to acquire measurement data.

The latest 2011 study focuses on measurement strategies and behaviors of coordinate metrologists. In the study, people conducted 3D measurement tasks on two days using various coordinate measuring systems. On the first day, 3D measurement tasks were carried out with little or no instruction. On the second day, 3D measurement tasks were conducted with instructions or procedures. The results from the two days were compared.

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The Importance of Calibrating a 3D Scanner for Accuracy

Posted By Thomas Tong on May 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM

If you are encountering problems with the accuracy of the 3D data when using a 3D scanner, there is a chance that the scanner wasn’t calibrated properly. Calibration is perhaps the most important part of setting up a 3D scanner. A good calibration is the key prerequisite for capturing accurate 3D scan data.

The calibration process is important because this is where the scanner determines its environmental conditions such as its position, rotation and behavior in relation to the scan object. The process involves calibrating the scanner’s field of view (FOV), the observable area that the 3D scanner is able to capture from a specific distance. The scanner uses its cameras to define its field of view.

Caption: This diagram illustrates the field of view of a 3D scanner. The Center Depth of Focus is where the scanner is the most focused and this is where the scan object is placed. The Z-Near is the closest distance that the scanner can scan while still in focus. In contrast, the Z-Far is the furthest distance that the scanner can scan while still in focus.

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