3D Scanner

A 3D scanner that enables non-contact, high-accuracy 3D profile measurements. Automating complicated settings and skilled operations allows for uniform measurements between operators. The lineup also includes a model that can measure the entirety of a large target (360°), which was not possible with conventional 3D scanners.

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VL series - 3D Scanner CMM

VL Series 3D Scanner CMMs can measure large targets in 3D from all directions, providing full 360° scanning capability. The motorized turntable moves in the X, Y, and θ directions for fully automated recognition and scanning of the measurement target. The high-magnification lens captures up to 16 million data points, allowing for the acquisition of precise data on small targets and complex shapes that cannot be measured with conventional scanners. Full 360° scans can be compared directly against CAD data, allowing for easy detection of deviations from design values, quick determination of good vs. bad parts, and wear analysis before and after use of a product.

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VR-6000 series - 3D Optical Profilometer

The VR-6000 Optical Profilometer performs non-contact measurement to replace stylus profilometers and roughness meters. This 3D profile system captures full surface data across the target with a resolution of 0.1 μm, enabling measurement of features that cannot be performed with probe-type instruments. The new rotational scanning greatly expands the measurement capabilities of the system. True-to-life cross section measurements can be performed with no blind spots. Wall thicknesses and recessed features can be measured without cutting or destroying the target. In addition, the HDR scanning algorithm provides enhanced scanning capabilities for instantly determining the optimal settings to capture high quality data, even on glossy and matte surfaces.

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A 3D Scanner captures 3D data of an object's shape for measurement or visualization purposes. 3D scanners come in two types: contact systems that obtain coordinates by physically touching the target with a probe, and non-contact which obtain 3D data without touching the target.
With contact-type 3D scanners, the operator holds a probe against the target object and records the position of the probe as coordinates. This traditional method takes a long time to complete measurements and doesn't allow for complex shapes or geometries to be fully mapped. Non-contact 3D scanners obtain 3D data by measuring the time difference and emission angle of a laser or other light source reflecting off the target object. Some 3D scanners project a striped pattern onto the target and measure the displacement of the lines to capture data.

Benefits of 3D Scanners

3D scanners can measure in both 3D and 2D with easy operation. Set-up and measurement operations are simple, so anyone can measure complex objects with high-accuracy. 3D measurement scanners can measure cross-sections, thickness, and perform GD&T measurements in a single scan.

With conventional measurement systems, many setup steps are required, such as fixturing, stage adjustments, and precise placement of the measurement target. However, with a 3D scanner, an operator is only required to place the target object on the stage and measurement can start right away. Additionally, because the entire surface is scanned, a 3D scanner can perform nearly limitless measurements, including measuring the highest and lowest points across a surface, distances between lines, and distances between circles or other features.

Target objects can be compared directly against 3D CAD data, or against measurement data from a similar part. Comparing target measurement data can help verify conformity and identify defects.

Comparing a 3D scan against the object's 3D CAD data enables visualization of any differences between the final product and the design. Objects that are difficult to measure with conventional approaches, such as parts with free-form shapes or complex geometries, can be quickly compared against CAD data to instantly visualize any areas the part is out of tolerance. Additionally, different sets of measurement data from the same product can also be compared, which allows for capturing changes in the shape of the product before and after use, or for identifying why one part may be working while another is failing.

Reverse engineering analyzes existing products to reveal their specifications, components, and design. A 3D scanner can recreate the shape of a product with high data quality, enabling drawings to be quickly made for already existing products.

Reverse engineering helps determine the manufacturing method and working principle of a product by analyzing the product itself or its components. A 3D scanner can accurately analyze, dimension, and create drawings or DXF files of even complex shapes and products. With the ability to quickly measure objects regardless of their complexity, 3D scanners are optimal measurement systems for reverse engineering.

In recent years, additive manufacturing using 3D printers has become increasingly popular. Similarly, 3D scanners have become increasingly used within the 3D design and printing process due to their ability to quickly create digital models of existing objects and parts. This process of using existing parts to create new designs is referred to as reverse engineering, and can save both time and effort in the following situations:

1. A customer has requested a part design but does not provide a drawing. 2. The customer provides only an existing part for reference, but not the design file or drawings. 3. You are required to make a part that is different from the drawing but has the same general shape as a proven part. 4. Only paper drawings exist of old parts.

3D Scanner Case Studies

Stamping Industry

Metal and plastic materials have plasticity and elasticity that affect the way they are worked, and as such, making industrial products to design specifications can be incredibly difficult. To assess the shape of a product, the entire part must be scanned with a 3D scanner.
With a 3D scanner, measurement of deep drawn products, spring back analysis, and plate thickness evaluation can be easily performed. Profile measurement of deep drawn products can be done by visualizing the part against its CAD data, while spring back can be analyzed by measuring the difference from cross-sections. In addition, hand tools cannot capture the thickness of a bent part or changes in thickness caused by metalworking, but a 3D part scanner can capture the rate of reduction of plate thickness across the entire part.
For the 3D Scanner for the Stamping Industry Application Guide, click the button below.

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Injection Molding Industry

Injection-molded parts can be difficult to measure due to their freeform geometries and can deform when measured with contact tools. 3D Scanners allow for a wide range of measurements to be performed on molded products, including radii, flatness, and curvature. Warpage caused when the part is removed from its mold can be quickly and accurately measured across the entire part. Additionally, samples from different molds can be scanned and the data superimposed so differences can be instantly understood.
For the 3D Scanner for the Injection Molding Industry Application Guide, click the button below.

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Casting Industry

Due to the limited number of data points captured, measuring systems that collect point data may overlook non-conformities that would otherwise cause measurements to fall outside of dimensional tolerances. A 3D scanner can be used to acquire scan data for the entire product to evaluate its true shape.
With a 3D scanner, it is easy to evaluate the shapes of the fins of alternators and heat sinks, as well as to measure the positions of electrical parts. When evaluating the shape of an alternator, the CAD data can be directly overlayed on the 3D scan to identify any non-conformities. Additionally, the fins of a heat sink can be virtually cut into cross-sections to measure their pitch and height, without destroying the part.
For the 3D Scanner for the Casting Industry Application Guide, click the button below.

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Pressed Parts: A Method for Measuring the Thickness of Drawn Products

Because defects in wall thickness and minimum thickness affect the strength of drawn products, highly accurate and quantitative 3D shape measurements are necessary. However, it is very difficult to accurately measure with minimal variation between operators when using coordinate measuring machines or calipers. The easy-to-use VL Series 3D scanner CMM accurately captures the entire 3D shape of a surface without contacting the target, allowing users to automatically measure thickness and minimum thickness. Furthermore, cross-sectional shape displacement can be checked with profiles, allowing for the identification of issues such as springback and the quick implementation of corresponding countermeasures.

Cast Products: A Method That Allows Anyone to Measure Cast Products Easily and Accurately

3D shape analysis is vital in quality assurance because cast products with dimensions outside the tolerance range can affect the strength and operation accuracy. Using a coordinate measuring machine that captures one point at a time requires a lot of time and a high level of skill. On the other hand, the VL Series 3D scanner CMM captures the data in minutes at the click of a button, enabling highly accurate measurement of surface strain and complex 3D shapes. Easy quantitative evaluations are made possible by visualization of uneven surfaces with color maps, capturing of profile data, 11 types of GD&T measurements, and comparisons with 3D-CAD data.

Plastic Molded Parts: A Method of Accurately Measuring Plastic Molded Fitting Parts

Plastic molded parts with complex shapes conventionally required multi-point measurements with coordinate measuring machines and calipers. It not only required a lot of time and a high level of skill but also had the problem of measurement variations when performing contact measurements due to the low hardness of plastic. The VL Series 3D scanner CMM can complete a 3D scan of the plastic molded part on the stage in minutes without touching the target, allowing for highly accurate measurements. Uneven surfaces can be visualized with color maps, specified cross sections can be measured in a non-destructive manner, and differences between 3D-CAD data and the target can be visualized. Defects such as subtle warpage, waviness, strain, and short shots can be easily identified, allowing for prompt implementation of countermeasures.

Cut Products: A Method for High-accuracy Measurement of Free-form Surfaces on Cut Products

The 3D shapes of impeller blades, propellers, and spiral gears—cut products having free-form surfaces—are difficult to measure quantitatively with coordinate measuring machines, tooth thickness calipers, and tooth thickness micrometers. The VL Series 3D scanner CMM can complete a full 360° scan of the target in minutes and with simple operations, allowing for highly accurate and quantitative measurement. Specified locations can be measured in the specified manner, for example, the thickness, pitch, curved shapes, and GD&T of impeller blades. Verification against 3D-CAD data is also possible. Additionally, the profile of the specified cross section can be measured in a non-destructive manner when measuring the over-pin dimension of a gear.

A Method of Optimizing 3D Measurement in Reverse Engineering

In reverse engineering, where design drawings are reproduced from actual products and parts, it is necessary to measure the shape of the entire target with high accuracy. The VL Series 3D scanner CMM scans the target in a non-contact manner. It captures 3D shape data with high accuracy, simple operations, and no positioning or leveling. Because data can be combined, surfaces that were not fully captured at the first scan can be scanned and added at a later time. Furthermore, non-destructive measurement and analysis of cross sections as well as output as DXF data are possible. This all adds up to allow dimensions to be quickly evaluated and converted to drawings.

A Method for Improving the Efficiency of 3D Measurement for Digital Archives

When building a digital archive, a tangible fixed asset, the shape and color information of the original items must be measured and recorded in as much detail as possible. Non-contact and fast 3D scanning with the VL Series 3D scanner CMM is useful in capturing the data of these valuable and fragile original items. The cross-sectional shape of the specified location can be measured in a non-destructive manner from the 3D shape data and converted to DXF data or an STL file. Also, the color information can be captured with the built-in, large, high-resolution CMOS camera. The data necessary for building a digital archive can be captured quickly, with high accuracy, and with simple operations.

Frequently Asked Questions About 3D Scanners

3D scanning accuracy normally ranges between 10 - 100 microns. 3D scanners typically excel at measuring large parts that do not contain small surface features, as the accuracy isn't high enough to obtain high-resolution surface shape data. With the VL Series, high-magnification lenses can be used to capture up to 16 million data points on the surface of a part, ensuring even small features or targets can be accurately measured.

3D scanning is a non-contact form of measurement that captures the three-dimensional shape of a target object through the use of a projected light source. Optical scanners typically project a white or blue striped pattern onto the target object, and measure the displacement of the lines to construct the 3D model. A 3D laser scanner projects a laser onto the target surface, and measures the time required for the laser to return to the light-receiving element to map the surface of the part. Both white/blue light 3D scanners and 3D laser scanning systems can be used to perform measurements

3D scanners are used to acquire data on target objects so the user can visualize and measure the surface of the object. Some 3D scanners allow scanned objects to be directly compared against their CAD model, so users can quickly understand how a manufactured part differs from the design. 3D scanners are used in quality control and research and prototyping across many industries, including stamping, molding, casting, and electronics.

3D Scanner Application Examples

The latest 3D scanners can easily take measurements that were impossible with hand calipers, profile measurement systems, and CMMs. This brochure introduces tips for solving measurement problems using 3D scanner functions with common targets as examples. A must-read compilation of applications for anyone struggling with dimensional measurements.

Technical Guides

3D Scanner VS 3D Scanner CMM

This guide compares the functions of the latest 3D scanner against conventional models. What are the differences, and what are the new models capable of? A perfect beginner's technical guide to 3D scanners.

Technical Guides

Latest Measurement Trends Using 3D Scanners for Casting/Die-Casting

The casting and die casting industry sees many elements of three-dimensional deformation caused by processing and material properties. This guide introduces comparisons of 3D CAD data, prototypes, and mass-produced products using a 3D scanner.

Technical Guides

VL Series 3D Scanner CMM Product Overview

This guide covers common applications for 3D scanners, serving as an introduction for those considering 3D scanners for their measurement needs.

Technical Guides

Reverse Engineering with a 3D Scanner CMM

3D scanners are an instant solution to issues that arise during reverse engineering, including measurement accuracy, time, and data quality. View easy tips for solving common problems when reverse engineering.

Technical Guides