3D Scanning

Anyone have good tips on 3D scanning for bringing physical models into CAD?

I’d like to have an easy solution. I started ten years ago with a Faro arm, but it’s circuit boards tended to fail every other month and the annual contracts were expensive. And digitizing single points was painful compared to the current standard of clouds.

The new photogrammetry systems seem interesting, PhotoModeler Scan seems good but 2400$ , I started using AgiSoft PhotoScan this week, 179$ interesting, a little slow seeming but okay, no camera calibration, not sure how the dimensional accuracy is going to be. RhinoPhoto was another that I looked at during the beta phase, have just requested the trial version of 2.0 to evaluate.

Any input on the strengths and weaknesses of any of these solutions or advice on other solutions?

My workflow is building the models, scanning, and then building the CAD myself. Since I know the intent of the model, it is not necessary to have millions of points for each tiny radius, thousands of points in the correct location will do.


http://www.revware.net/default.asp. Revware’s Microscribe is an aggressively priced desktop digitizer.

For my needs, articulated arm digitizers like Faro and Microscribe for getting points into surface modelers are a thing of the past. A single point at a time is not useful.

Structured light scanners or laser range finding scanners are state of the art, I am just looking for a good approach. Experimenting now with David laserscanner as a basic desktop approach to experiment with. My budget has to balance with what it costs as a service for scanning a single part, and maintaining the cover of confidentiality during the development process.

I just looked into that free “David 3D Scanner”. Frankly it looks like a nice toy (freebee).
But the accuracy of 0,4mm in optimum setup (up to the user ) would be a joke for
tooling. If we rework our models during stages we are still using a digitized arm that
sits on its own marble desk. (Don’t remember the brand right now) But the data resolution
is a 100 times better than “David”.

Question: Could anyone point me to suppliers which might cater to professional needs
without overcharging in anual fees for software and support. We don’t use digitizing
regularly, so a switch to Laserscanning would have to generate an accountable benefit
in developement times.

Thanks. mo-i

I understand that the 0.4 mm is huge for matching tooling. If I am measuring a production part and comparing it to an engineering drawing, I need a more accurate method. (the measuring of incoming ski safety binding parts required such tolerances in my own past).

I am bringing in my own freeform shapes, from clay models to do my own surfacing in CAD, the edge tolerances on the hand made models are not better than 0.4 mm, smooth yes, but not that critical. I am not looking to machine directly from the scans, I am looking to build the correct surfaces from the scans, where I can control the tolerances as needed and build the perfectly faired shapes. My specific application is sports helmets snow skate and bike, where all shapes are modelled in clay before building in CAD.

The tools are evolving at a high rate, even the best laser scanners are using the same system as the David scanner, projecting light on a surface, reading where it falls with a camera, and calculating the displacement. I am not claiming it is the solution, just a hell of a lot better (in my application) than an aging MicroScribe system or an overkill, crazy maintenance fee Faro arm system. This seems like a field that will be growing, I’m sure others out there are experiencing other aspects.