Everything You Wanted to Know About 3d Scanning – The Basics

Every year, we meet many people who think what we do is interesting, but aren’t quite sure how our 3D scanning technologies can help them. We’re sure that if you clicked on the link to read this article, you might be one of those people. Don’t worry, Australian Design and Drafting Services are here to help — our easy to follow primer on 3D scanning will help you discover the ways our cutting-edge technologies can help you and/or your company.

Almost Everything You Always Wanted to Know About 3D Scanning will cover the following topics in the continuing post:

  • Chapter 1: The Basics of 3D Scanning and Digital Modeling
  • Chapter 2: Different Methods for Data Collection
  • Chapter 3: Digital Modeling – Converting Raw Point Clouds into CAD Formats
  • Chapter 4: Reverse Engineering – Design-Intent CAD Models
  • Chapter 5: Inspection / Analysis – Comparison to CAD
  • Chapter 6: Downstream Applications for 3D Data
  • Chapter 7: Digital Model Formats – The Many Flavors of 3D CAD
  • Chapter 8: Using 3D Data for Visualization
  • Chapter 9: Rapid Prototyping – Making Physical Objects from Scan Data
  • Chapter 10: The Future – Desktop Scanning and Manufacturing

The Basics

What is a 3D model and how do you get it?

A 3D model is a digital representation of a physical object. If you already have an object, and you want it in a digital form, that’s what we do. Direct Dimensions takes physical objects that you send to us and we use advanced 3D scanning equipment to capture and transform them into 3D digital models.

We do this by processing the raw data gathered during a 3D scan into a digital model that can then be used by you for many purposes. In the next chapter, we’ll cover the different methods for collecting this data, including laser scanning and digitizing. A 3D model is incredibly versatile.

Why do I need a 3D model?

3D models can be used for many purposes like making an animation or visualization. They can be used to make design changes to make a new product. They can be used to perform a dimensional and comparative analysis of an object, or even FEA and CFD analysis. They can be used for archival purposes – to accurately record the state or form of an object. They can be used to digitally repair the damage that has been done to an object which can then reproduce that object in its proper form using rapid prototyping and milling technologies. They can even record your face in intricate detail! (And yes, some of our lasers are eye-safe!). There are no limits as to what can be done once something has been captured in 3D.

In short, our technologies allow almost any physical object to be recreated into a 3D digital format that can be used for just about anything you want.

When? Where? How Large? What are the limitations?

With our various technologies, we can capture objects indoors or outdoors, during the day or at night. The sky is the limit for how large and we also have technology that can capture even the smallest objects. Some of our equipment is portable so we can come to your facility, or you are encouraged to ship your items to our lab.

On the large side, Direct Dimensions has successfully scanned entire aeroplanes, historic monuments, ships and subs, tracts of land, and large interior spaces like buildings. We’ve scanned mid-size objects like spacesuits, countless consumer products and artwork. We’ve also done tiny, finely-detailed items like coins, medical devices, and dental appliances. We’ve even captured fingerprints and skin textures! The bottom line is that whatever your object, the tools exist to scan it, and it’s likely we use them.

What’s next?

Now that you know the basics of what can be scanned and how 3D data can be used, you are ready to learn more about the different methods we use for data collection!

Stay tuned to our next post. Do You have any urgent requirements? Do contact us for more information..

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