Alternatives to painting part for 3D scanning?

I’m running into a predicament with some parts that need 3D scanning. I have sent some parts to our manufacturer who has more advanced scanning capabilities and they have warned me that the parts may come back with finish imperfections/damage.

I understand that they paint the part white, mark it with identifying points, and then scan (see image). They would then remove the paint with rubbing alcohol and return the part. These parts have some acrylic lenses and auto-paint type of finishes. Can anyone recommend an alternative to the paint or to the paint removing solution that I can suggest?

Just looking to save time and money replacing these very expensive parts. Thanks!
part 3d scan.jpg

I would double check with your scanning vendor - there are scanning technologies that can scan without needing to paint the part, but if they don’t have that type of machine it may be a problem.

I have sent parts for scanning and they were never painted - however, they weren’t high polished or clear. I’ve seen people scanning high polished objects, but a clear lens is probably impossible to scan.

Their may be some type of non-permanent coating they can put on it instead, like a powder.

If you are looking for a vendor who can give you a second opinion let me know.

There are commercial digitize enhancement sprays that make a part matte white and then slowly off-gas or sublimate leaving the part free from any coatings.

I formulated my own recently, simple combination that leaves a perfect thin matte white coat and washes off easily.

Mist spray bottle
Baby powder
Rubbing alcohol

Combine the above ingredients. Spray part. Works great.

Thanks for the feedback, I will check into these options.

On a side note, you probably don’t want to google “digital ehancement spray” at work. :laughing:

Please forgive me if this isn’t an appropriate place to ask,
but you’re the first that I’ve heard mention using 3d scanning.

I’m curious if all kinds of parts need to be specially coated, I imagine clear parts in particular are the most important to coat.

Also can they separate the different parts of a simple assembly or do all parts need to be scanned individually?

3d scanning is the first step in “reverse engineering”. The data gained is used to build a clean geometric model. The scanned model might be hand made, it might be a legacy part that no surface file exists, etc.

If you need to build each part in a simple assembly than you need to scan each part individually.

Shiny parts, transparent parts, parts with graphics on them, don’t scan particularly well. This parts are coating with a white matte powder to allow the laser or optical scanner to have a uniform surface.

Scanning is typically done these days with a laser scanner of some sorts. Any surface you have that is highly reflective, or transmissive, etc will distort or absorb the laser energy which makes it fail at figuring out how far your surface is away from the object. Some objects will scan fine without it (I’ve seen a demo recently of a scanner that did very well on a car model that was purposely shiny/clear to demo the product).