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Four Considerations for Selecting 3D Scanning Equipment

Posted by Mike Knicker on Aug 23, 2013 7:32:00 AM

3d scanning equipment considerations

3D scanning can be used for multiple reasons, including first article inspection, reverse engineering, and other types of measurement applications. The purpose of 3D scanning is to collect data points to create a digital representation of the object. These data points can be gathered using lasers, white light, contact sensors, and other methods depending on the characteristics of the object being measured.

Although the objective behind the technologies are similar (obtaining measurement data), not all 3D scanning equipment is the same. For example, some equipment gathers data by coming into contact with the object, while others use non-contact optical technology to collect measurements.

Four Factors for Selecting 3D Scanning Equipment

If you plan to purchase 3D scanning equipment, you want to be sure of your choice. Consider the following factors as you reach a decision about what to buy:
  1. Object characteristics - 3D scanning equipment can be used to collect measurement data for objects of almost all shapes and sizes. However, the type of equipment you select depends on the surface characteristics of the object, whether it has internal geometry, its size, and other factors.

  2. Speed - How fast do you need results? Some devices provide faster results than others; however, speed can also impact quality and accuracy, so look at the big picture when you consider what equipment to buy.

  3. Accuracy - This factor is extremely important in many industries. Do you need NIST traceability or an accuracy statement? Make sure that the equipment you buy can meet the accuracy requirements for your applications.

  4. Cost - The cost of 3D scanning equipment varies, even within the same type and class of technology. Although equipment price is an important consideration, it should not be the only one. If the equipment you buy can't produce the results you need, your money will have been wasted.
If you're not sure what to buy, work with a reseller and service provider that has extensive expertise in 3D scanning. The people who use this equipment every day will be able to tell you which systems make the most sense for your needs.

Purchasing 3D scanning equipment is not your only option; you can also work with a qualified lab to outsource measurement services. This can be a more cost-effective solution if you don't often need 3D scanning or will be measuring multiple types of objects.

Whether you decide to buy equipment or outsource services, Q-PLUS Labs is here to help. We are a certified reseller for multiple manufacturers, and we provide 3D scanning, reverse engineering, and dimensional inspection services to all types of industries. Request a quote today to get started.

Do you want to embrace this modern method of measuring but don't know where to start?

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Topics: equipment purchasing, purchasing, reverse engineering equipment, equipment purchases, 3D Scanning, 3D scanning equipment

11 Must Satisfy Reverse Engineering Vendor Requirements

Posted by Mike Knicker on Aug 8, 2013 6:00:00 AM

11 reverse engineering requirements

Whether you decide to outsource reverse engineering services or purchase equipment so you can do it in-house, you must work with a qualified provider that you trust. The reasons may be obvious in the case of outsourcing, but selecting a good reseller when you decide to buy is just as important.

Whichever route you choose, make sure your vendor satisfies the following requirements:

Four Criteria for Outsourcing Reverse Engineering Services

For many reverse engineering applications, selecting a qualified provider is critical, especially if you must satisfy regulatory requirements. Look for the following factors when you evaluate providers:
  1. Certification and accreditation - The current certification standard is ISO 9001, and the accreditation to look for is ISO 17025.

  2. Expertise - Look for a long track record of success in multiple industries, particularly the one in which you operate.

  3. Technology - Advances in reverse engineering technology are ongoing. Look for a provider that stays on the cutting edge and adopts new measurement and scanning technologies as they are developed.
  4. Diversity - Successful reverse engineering is sometimes a combination of science and art. A reverse engineering provider that has experience across a range of industries and applications will be better able to solve problems and produce the best results.

Seven Criteria for Purchasing Reverse Engineering Equipment

If you have ongoing reverse engineering needs, purchasing equipment for in-house use might be more cost-effective. Although there are a number of places where you can purchase equipment, not all providers are created equally. Look for the following factors when selecting a vendor:
  1. Collaboration - Most reverse engineering equipment requires an investment that you want to feel confident about making. Look for a provider that will help you select the best solution for your needs and not just sell you the device that will boost its bottom line.

  2. Diversity - Working with a reseller that carries multiple manufacturers will give you more choices and help ensure that you evaluate all the available options.

  3. Flexibility - If you are working with a limited budget, look for a provider that allows you to lease equipment or set up a payment plan.

  4. Expertise - The companies that also use reverse engineering equipment are the most qualified to help you decide what to buy. A provider that uses the same devices every day will be better able to help you make an informed decision than a provider that only sells equipment.

  5. Installation - Before you buy or lease the equipment, make sure your provider offers installation, calibration, and validation services so you can be confident that you have the proper setup.

  6. Training - Look for a provider that offers a variety of training options, especially if your staff will need to learn how to use your new equipment.

  7. Support - Sometimes problems arise. You don't want to be left on your own to troubleshoot or to set up maintenance schedules. Also, understanding your equipment warranty is important in order to ensure that you fulfill any requirements. Look for a provider that offers ongoing support so you can get the most from your investment.

Whether you decide to buy or outsource, Q-PLUS Labs can help. We meet all of the above criteria and more. We'll work with you to find the best solution for your reverse engineering needs. We'll even help you make the decision whether to buy or outsource. Request a quote today to get started.

What do you look for in a reverse engineering provider?


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Topics: equipment, reverse engineering, equipment purchasing, reverse engineering equipment, equipment purchases

Nine Things to Consider When Purchasing Reverse Engineering Equipment

Posted by Mike Knicker on Jul 31, 2013 8:30:00 AM

reverse engineering equipment purchase


If you have decided that purchasing your own reverse engineering equipment is the most cost-effective solution for your project, the next step is determining what to buy. Countless types of equipment are available, with a range of features and from several manufacturers.

So how will you know what to buy? Follow these tips:

Nine Factors for Purchasing Reverse Engineering Equipment

  1. Sensor type - The object's surface characteristics and other factors will determine what type of sensor will be best for your application. If you're not sure, work with a trained professional before you make an investment to ensure that the equipment you buy will produce the desired results.

  2. Sizes of objects - Reverse engineering a car door handle requires different equipment than for a much larger object, such as an airplane propeller. When it comes to purchasing reverse engineering equipment, sometimes size does matter.

  3. Shapes of objects - The shape of the objects you intend to measure will play a role in your purchasing decision. For example, you may need to add a bore probe if the object has cavities or holes.

  4. Tolerance levels - Make sure you know the required tolerances in order to ensure that your equipment can achieve them.

  5. Budget - When you buy equipment, the budget encompasses much more than just the sticker price. Consider other factors such as the costs to operate, calibrate, and maintain the equipment in the long run.

  6. In-house skills - Make sure that your staffers have the skills to operate any new equipment you buy. If they do not, you may need to invest in training.

  7. Maintenance requirements - Find out what regular maintenance is required before you buy so there are no surprises down the road.

  8. In-house capacity - Determine whether the equipment you are purchasing will be able to meet your reverse engineering needs in a timely manner. 3-D scanning an object can take several hours; if you need fast turnaround time for multiple projects, consider purchasing multiple devices or partially outsourcing as needed.

  9. Purchasing method - Look for a provider that gives you the option to buy or lease equipment, especially if you're uncertain how long you will need it.

If you're not sure what equipment to buy, work with a qualified provider that offers devices from multiple manufacturers.

Q-PLUS Labs is an authorized reseller for many different manufacturers. We offer the option to buy or lease, and we can often provide refurbished equipment to help you save money. We also use the equipment in our own labs, so we are uniquely qualified to help you make an informed decision. Contact us today with your questions or for assistance with buying reverse engineering equipment.

What type of reverse engineering equipment are you considering purchasing?

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Topics: reverse engineering, reverse engineering equipment, equipment purchases