3D Laser Scanning
T7Design offer an in-house metrology grade 3D Scanning Services using our high-end Creaform Handyscan 700 Laser Scanner. This system can pick up details as low as 0.05mm and has an accuracy of 0.03mm (30 microns) - this level of detail is overkill for many projects we get asked to undertake but the quality is there if we need it! We primarily use the system in house for product design and development but are also happy to quote for customer projects whether that be commercial companies or individuals. Please see below for further information and a gallery of projects we have undertaken and are allowed to show! We are happy to sign NDA's should this be a requirement.
- Non-invasive - the scanner projects lasers onto the surface and measures their deformation.
- Incredibly accurate - accuracy down to 30 Microns with a volumetric accuracy to 0.02 + 0.06mm/m.
- Incredibly detailed - feature resolution down to 50 Microns.
- Recommended Part Size - 0.1 to 4.0m.
- Fully mobile hand-held scanner - not limited to part size or positioning.
- VXModel in house - full data extraction software allowing feature extraction and alignment.
Commonly asked questions about our 3D Laser Scanning and Reverse Engineering Services:
- How much do you charge? Every project is different and can be tricky to accurately estimate a price until we give it a go! Sometimes the simple tasks turn out to take the longest and vice versa. We can charge our hourly rate, or per project but only if we can accurately predict a time frame. Our hourly rate is £100 + VAT for laser scanning. This would apply to set-up, scanning and post processing of the scan data.
- Can you 3D print direct from the scan data? We can supply a 'water-proof' mesh in an STL format which will be suitable for 3D printing, however it is worth keeping in mind that the scanner picks up all variation, deformation and damage in a part and this will be replicated!
- What formats can you supply? STL, IGES, STEP & DXF are the most widely accepted formats for CAD software that we can output.
- How do I obtain a quote? Please send us an email with clear photographs of the item, a detailed explanation of your requirements and also how you intend to us the scan data. knowing what you will use the data for can help ensure we post process the data correctly so that it is useable for you. All of this information will allow us to offer the most accurate quote for your project.
We welcome all enquiries about our engineering services but please consider the following information prior to getting in touch as it may help decide whether this service is right for your application or project:
- Part Surface Finish: The scanner is so accurate it will pick up all surface imperfections including the thickness of paint and any dirt and grease left on the part. Please ensure the part is fully cleaned and is free from dirt, oil and grease. We have found that aqua blasting automotive parts prior to scanning offers a very good, non-invasive, way to get the surface back to an almost new condition. We use a local company for this service and are happy to organise this service at cost.
- Datums: Please let us know what surfaces you want to use as your datums for alignment purposes. It is best practice to use a surface that spans the greatest distance of a part to use as the first alignment. For example; an engine scan is best done with the head removed to scan the deck surface and the cylinder bores to get the most accurate alignment. We will not scan engines supplied fully assembled as we cannot accurately align them without stripping them down.
- Line of Sight: All scanners work on a line of sight basis and they will only capture surfaces they can physically see. There are some situations where you may have to use traditional methods to measure geometry to allow you to draw these features back into your model. For example: When scanning anything beyond 45° perpendicular to the surface the scan quality starts to drop off, this can affect data accuracy if you are unable to scan a surface from more than one angle or position. Holes are also another consideration; the rule of thumb is that you cannot accurately scan any deeper than 1D (1x the hole diameter). A threaded hole cannot be accurately scanned to find its centre point as well as a smooth bore hole. If you have a threaded hole it would be better to insert a bolt with a nut tightened down against the hole face to ensure it is perfectly concentric and cannot move, ensure the bolt has a smooth shank to scan.
- Part strength: Is your part thin or can it bend? Some parts need to be scanned in multiple stages and then combined at the end to create one complete model. Sheet metal can be especially problematic to scan if it is not bolted down, there may be enough flex in the part that simply repositioning it to scan any areas inaccessible the first go could render the data useless, you may not visibly see it but even just 0.5mm difference could result in a failed multiple scan alignment. Consider how the part could flex or bend if removed from its application, it might be worth scanning it in place to ensure the utmost accuracy.
- Internal Scanning If the scanner works by line of sight how would we accurately scan the inside of a gearbox? If you need to capture internal data to an accurate degree then we will need to cut the component open to allow us access to internal features from multiple angles, however, we would first need the part supplied in one uncut piece to allow us to create an external 'datum' scan. Once we have a complete outside model it then can be cut in halve to scan the internal features. The internal files are then merged with our original 'datum' scan to allow us to accurately position the multiple internal scan files. As you can imagine this can be quite a lengthy process!
- File Size: Some parts are so complex the file sizes are massive, the engine scan in our gallery below is in excess of 10gb. You need a brute of a PC with lots of ram to use these models. We can reduce the resolution in areas of least importance and retain accuracy in others to ensure system performance is not compromised. Big files will be sent via WeTransfer, or if the data is particularly sensitive then you are more than welcome to collect!
- Lead Time: Some small parts can be done same day if they are urgent, or it can be up to 2 weeks for large complex parts.
- Scanning on Site: Sorry but we are not set up for site visits, please arrange to have the components brought to us, this also helps to keep the costs down.