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3D Scanning 101: Everything You Need to Know about 3D Scanners

The global 3D market currently stands at over $3.29 billion. Scanning, like most 3D technologies, is experiencing a positive reaction in the market. With these projections expected to increase steadily, the global 3D scanning market seems to be set for greater success in the future.  

But how much do you know about 3D Scanning? A sizeable number of Americans have no idea how 3D Scanning works. But don’t worry. You are in safe hands.

Don’t be left out as the world makes strides towards embracing 3D technology. Read on to learn everything about 3D scanners and their functionality. 


What Is 3D Scanning?

The 3D Laser Scanning technology is a non-contact approach that enables the digital capture of shape of physical objects. This technology utilizes a line of laser light to accomplish this process in a non-destructive process where the exact size and shape of the image is captured.

The captured information is then used to generate a 3-dimensional representation.

3D technology is best suited for the measurement of contoured surfaces. Such models require a massive amount of data to ensure an accurate representation of the actual surface. Laser 3D scanning is the most commonly used 3D scanning method currently.

Most of the fine details you notice in a representation of an original object are a result of laser light capture. 3D laser scanners can capture and offer representation even for the most complex geometries. The process involves the conversion of data into a triangulated mesh, which then moves into a CAD model. 

The Purpose of a 3D Scan

The need for a 3D scan is to create a 3 model of a real-life object. You can notice certain critical similarities between a 3D scanner and a camera. For instance, most 3D scanners have a field of view, which is cone-like; this is similar to an area of view in a camera.  But the 3D scanner can use the point of view to collect critical distance information about the objects’ surfaces utilizing this point of view.

But unlike a camera, a scanner requires multiple scans, to produce an accurate representation of the image. The scans must then come into a point of alignment to ensure the creation of a precise model. 

The technology has become an essential tool in many areas of research, such as in the process of site modeling or the freeway design process. In most recent developments, 3D Scanning is being considered in ongoing preparation for the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Most engineers also utilize the functionality of 3D Laser scanners in the process of developing geographic information systems. 

You may also notice an everyday use of 3D laser scanning in the process of coordinating product design. The design process also utilizes the use of the 3D Laser scanners to increase the overall accuracy when working with complex shapes. 

Some of the most recent application of 3D scanners is in the entertainment industry. 3D scanners are useful in the process of creating movies, video games, and other forms of virtual cinematographic representations in the entertainment industry. These scanners make the process of building digital 3D models easy and highly accurate.

How 3D Scanning Works

With a clear definition of 3D scanners, it’s easy to internalize how the process works. The 3D scanning process is a faster and more natural technique to use when developing a 3D model. Your purpose in such cases is to recreate a model out of an existing object. Once you have achieved the desired 3D model, you can then proceed to add any other modifications you may deem as necessary.

The scanner begins by collecting the necessary information. The scanner captures the images and sends the information to the 3D scanning software to undergo the processing process. Once the information is received, it is processed to reproduce the 3D Scan.

Most 3D scanners have a unique capturing unit, which then relays the information to the 3D scanning software. Your devices’ scanning software then undertakes the process of calculating the measurements of the object to create a 3D scan.

Most of the scanners take one scan at a time of the object. It would help if you got all the angles to the object first, before merging them into a complete 3D digital model. If your 3D scanner is advanced enough, it can scan, clean, and combine multiple scans to create an incredible final design of your 3D image.

Once the final model is ready, you can export to other standard file formats that are useful in 3D remodeling. The models also are compatible with any computer-aided inspection software.

Point Clouds 

Once you have gone through the process of 3D scanning, the shape of the object often tends to give the impression of millions of points. These resulting points are called the point clouds. The laser moves around and captures the millions of points in a rather fast process. In some of the most advanced scanners, these points may be as many as 750,000 points per second.

The design also shows incredible levels of precision with an accuracy rate of ±.0005″. This level of accuracy is the reason the technique has become useful when undertaking reverse engineering. Over the last few years, laser scanning has become one of the most valuable methods in the reverse engineering process.

3D laser scanners offer highly accurate results and the fastest approach in the acquisition of 3D digital data. This makes the process of reverse engineering highly dependent on the accuracy of this approach. Eventually, the CAD model is used to make any necessary corrections on the 3D scans to produce complex solid prototypes.

The 3D Scanners Mechanism 

While this may seem a bit technical, the scanner mechanism in most 3D scanners has three different forms of tools. The first is a carriage system, which works best with flat profiles and shapes.

The second is scanner mechanism, which relates to an articulated arm with rigid bones. This mechanism is common when probing into crevasses and interior places. The articulated arm has a higher level of precision in the carriage system.

Finally, a specific scanning mechanism tends to combine both methods in a combination that heightens accuracy and provides fast outcomes.

What Are Some of the Advantages of 3D Scanning?

Indeed, every technology has apparent pros. The 3D Laser scanner has notable strengths.  The first is the ability to minimize manual interventions.   You don’t need to manually dismantle an object to get the exact shape or measurements of such a purpose.

You’ll also enjoy high levels of precision with a 3D scanner. This extent of accuracy is observable due to the minimal room for errors notable in the process determining the exact measures. 

Most of the users of the 3D scanning technique marvel at the extent of cost reduction they experience with this option. BY re-designing the objects, it is possible to save on costs and avoid waste. You may end up saving a considerable amount of money with this option while achieving incredible levels of accuracy.

One of the key reasons most people prefer the use of 3D Laser scanners is due to the level of versatility they present. Most of the modern scanners are equipped with the necessary capabilities that make them easily compatible with various devices. You do not have to deal with incompatibility concerns when undertaking the process of re-design.

A critical strength notable in most 3D scanners is the ease of re-design. You’ll notice the extent of ease of operation with this technique because of the reduced need to focus on the de-construction of images each time.

Based on these strengths, it is possible to experience greater extents of productivity within the company.

The Future of 3D Scanning Is in Handheld Devices

If you are looking for the latest advancements in 3D Scanning, then you ought to consider handheld laser scanners.  This option introduces an extent of portability that was uncommon when the first 3D scanners came into the market.

Some of the most modern handheld 3D scanners, such as the EinScan Pro 2X series, have a modular design that allows for the capture of the color and texture of the object. As technology evolves, you’ll now be able to experience super high-speeds, high levels of accuracy, and finer details in the final results.  

Most modern handheld 3D scanners can combine data with passive, visible-light sensors. These features are critical towards enhancing the capture of surfaces and textures.

The future of 3D Scanning will shift more towards portability and versatility in the future, and a handheld 3D scanner will be at the center of this transformation.

To Stay Relevant, You Must Evolve With Technology

The edge of 3D imaging has changed how many industries and sectors operate. But with the emergence of 3D Scanning, these shifts are about to become even more appealing. To be on the safe side, you need to get accustomed to the use of 3D Laser scanning.

It’s impossible to swim against the tide of technology and make it out successfully. To remain relevant in your business, it’s high time you invest in handheld 3D scanners.

Read on for more insightful coverage of essential topics.

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