3D Scanning

LaserCutZ offers 3D scanning and digitizing service along with reverse engineering. We can take any tangible capture its shape with 3D laser scanner and create CAD model based on our captured point cloud. 3D scanning is similar to tracing 2D sketch or taking measurements of flat object with ruler or caliper but with 3D scanning all 3 axis are used so real can model can be recreated. There are different types of 3D scanners that we have some are used to scan human body, others are better for architecture and most advanced are for reverse engineering and quality inspection.

Very often 3D scanning is used to make compliment parts such as add on parts to existing assemblies for example automotive body kits for cars where car body is scanned and add on or replacement part is designed to mate to scanned object. Other use is to reverse engineer actual part and create replica or after market compatible replacement. Similarly 3D scanning can be used for repairs or unique equipment. Other applications for 3D scanning is medical and device engineering where human body can be scanned and medical device can be build or anomaly in the body is detected and processed by artificial intelligence (AI) to do early diagnostics of potential diseases.

For example in project below LaserCutZ scanned leftovers of Grumman S-2 Tracker airplane’s search light lens. Lens glass was almost fully destroyed so what was left was captured and analyzed to for restoration of original part design.

Grumman S-2 Tracker Wing Lamp 3D Scanning Restoration

Before scanning model need to be prepared to be sure that equipment can see it properly, in most cases this mean part need to be matte and colors should be light, ideally white or gray. No parts should be transparent as scanner does not see glass. As aircraft lens is transparent we had to paint it to matte white color prior scanning. To ensure parts safety we use temporary paint that can always be remove . Once surface is treated special tracking markers are applied. Those markers are used to triangulate position of the scanner and ensure that scanner know where it is looking.

Captured 3D scan data is millions and millions if point coordinates. By themselves those point data is not useful and needs to be proceed in software so it can used as reference geometry for CAD modeling.

After some preparation and working with model data, new CAD model can be designed based on scan data interpretation. In case of Grumman S-2 Tracker we mostly used circumference if the base to identify radius for part and leftover glass to guess shape of the lens. after some processing we starting to see real CAD file parts that if overplayed over scan data to se we confirm that part is same or close enough as original reference model. In screen below we see basic tolerance report where orange color is original scan data .

Finally once 3d model is confirmed to be close to original one we had on airplane we did some modifications to model so we can setup casting module and go ahead with next step and do vacuum casting of the airplane lamp lens glass. This would require milling a vacuum jig and melting polycarbonate or acrylic and forming it to the shape that we modeled.