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3D Laser Scanning Can Create Value in Metrology

Image of Cad Drawing 3D Laser Scanning Can Be the Right Choice

3D Laser Scanning Can Be the Right Choice

If you’re looking for more data in less time, 3D laser scanning may be a good choice for your metrology application.

From an article on www.qualitymag.com

Consider a CMM. If you need to get information for 100 measurements, that takes a certain amount of time. But with 3D scanning, this same information would be available after one scan. The accuracy is not a fit for precision machining applications, but the tradeoff in speed may make up for it.

Ian Scribner, portable 3D scanning product sales manager, industrial metrology business group, Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology LLC, explains the differences in technology.

“The overall advantage to traditional metrology equipment, CMMs, gages, calipers, is painting an entire picture,” Scribner says. “Three-dimensional scanning captures more information.”

With some technologies, “it may be possible to identify that a feature is incorrect, but hard to identify how the material came to be incorrect,” he says. The part may be out of spec, but the important thing is to trace back how this happened, Scribner says. “How did it get there?” Perhaps warpage led to it being the wrong size, but this is hard to determine unless you scan the entire part, he notes. Once you do, then you can undertake a root cause analysis.

“It’s just about more information as well as speed,” Scribner says. “Scanning a part vs. a traditional CMM, it’s a bell curve. For every feature that you inspect on a CMM, 100 features takes X amount of time. For 3D scanning, as you scan, as long as the computer can crunch the data, you get more information, faster. You sacrifice a little on the accuracy, but with more information faster, this can help you change something in the manufacturing process. It’s proactive vs. reactive.”

Along those lines, integrating metrology and 3D scanning can help reduce tooling design time and recuts. In terms of tooling design, with smaller plastic components, particularly those with multiple cavities, cavity #1 is often not the same as cavity #2, Scribner notes. In this case, if you’re creating a new tool for a new component, it’s important to note if tool #1 creates good parts and tool #2 doesn’t.

In order to speed up the process, companies will machine a tool to an analysis model that’s automatically calculating for mold flow, inspect the part, and if it’s inaccurate, recut the tools and go through several iterations. With every recut costing $10,000 to $20,000, the expense can add up. “With 3D scanning, companies can cut the tool once, produce the part, scan it, then take that 3D scan data and use the virtual data to create a tool that will create an accurate part,” he says.

For the complete article click here.

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