With advanced 3D scanning technologies, we can now convert any physical parts into a digital model in the matter of minutes. 3D scanners collect data in the form of point cloud, and this data can be used to construct digital 3D models. The common applications of 3D scanner include reverse engineering, form & shape inspection/ quality control, virtual cinematography (movies and video games), digital archiving (cultural artefacts), non-destructive testing, and prototyping.

3D scanning technologies can generally be classified into 2 major categories: Contact and Non-Contact. CMM (coordinate measuring machine) is one of the most commonly used contact solution, it is mostly used in manufacturing and offers high precision.

Some of the widely-used non- contact technologies:

White light scanner obtains surface points measurements of an object by projection of strips of white light over the model, while capturing the “point cloud” by a camera, patch by patch. It is widely applied in capturing shapes, such as human face as well as sculptures, typically in a museum. The application of white light scanner in vision inspection has enabled automotive body shop to improve and maintain high quality of Body in White – within measurable tolerance.

Laser scanners use laser beams to scan parts, capturing a stream of points over the shape, section by section. It only takes a few seconds to record millions of points with an accuracy of below 10 microns. It offers high flexibility for scanning big object, especially on work site. Key application involved reverse engineering task- capture shape and dimensions of a component, such as a gear box, for rebuild and reconstruct.

Blue light scanner uses blue LED technology and is a perfect fit for a variety of applications, from heavy-duty manufacturing industrial design to automotive to jewellery. This new method of Scan-Based Design empowers designers across all industries to swiftly create the type of innovative products that customers demand.