We provide 3D scanning services for a range of applications spanning Arts, Medicine, Sports, Heritage and Engineering. We help our clients utilise 3D scanning technology for replicating objects, scaling objects up or down for use in casting, archiving historical and archaeological artefacts and use in TV and film. 3D scanning can also be combined with 3D printing to effectively reproduce objects for many purposes. We also extract CAD data to help design more ergonomic or personalised products and reverse engineer old components which may not have original CAD files. Reverse engineering of scanned parts produces editable CAD files such as STEP files for use in Solidworks or other engineering CAD software.
Depending on the application we may use a laser scanner which projects laser lines onto the part, the deflection of these lines across the part is measured to capture the geometry.
The alternative method is Structured Light Scanning which projects a pattern of light onto the surface and cameras are used to measure the deflection of the pattern and capture the geometry.
Both processes produce a “point cloud” which can be joined into a triangulated mesh. This mesh file, also called an STL file can be used for rapid prototyping such as 3D printing and machining. Apart from scaling and mirroring STLs cannot be easily modified or generally used for other manufacturing processes.
If the scan data is required for tooling, mould making, recreating 2D drawings or importing into CAD software as a basis for designs it must be reverse engineered to surface data (typically STEP/IGES) and imported into CAD. This is a design process whereby a CAD model is constructed in a traditional way using points from the imported mesh as a reference to build the new model.