So how do you know when not to use 3D scanning? If any of these three applications are similar to yours, you might want to re-evaluate your approach:
- You only need to measure one dimension - The whole point of using 3D scanners is to measure objects in three dimensions. If you only need to know the length or width of an object, a simpler (and less expensive) measurement system or gage may suffice.
- You need an extraordinarily high level of precision - certain high-end 3D scanners have the ability to produce very precise results, but some applications call for an immensely high degree of accuracy and precision. If you are measuring the profile of a ground cam or a high-speed gear, a non-contact 3D scanner will not likely be a viable solution.
- Your object has interior surfaces that cannot be seen - If you can't see a given surface, an optical 3D scanner can't see it either. In these cases, a contact probe can often reach the geometry of interest such as a bore hole or other interior surfaces. In other cases, however, sectioning or slicing of the object may be required. CT scanning is also a possible solution however this method has several limitations of its own.
- Direct computer control coordinate measuring machine (DCC-CMM)
- Optical video probes and comparators
- Contour and form testers
- Reverse Rapid Prototyping system (CGI)
This short list represents just a few of the options that might be useful for your dimensional measurement applications. The best way to determine what type of equipment best matches your needs is to work with a qualified dimensional measurement service provider that has the experience and expertise to help you decide.
Q-PLUS Labs provides 3D scanning and a range of other dimensional measurement and inspection services, so no matter what measurement problem you are trying to solve, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
What projects are you considering for 3D scanning? Might another measurement method provide the results you need?