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What is 3d Scanning

3d scanning is a process that uses either laser or structured light to quickly collect xyz coordinate data in 3 dimensional space,  each of these measured points makes up a point cloud.    3d scanning allows the collection of millions to billions of individual point measurements in a short amount of time, making short work of measuring hard to measure parts and projects.    

Parts and equipment  with complex geometry are especially suited for 3d scanning,  there is no longer a need to spend hours or days measuring using conventional methods. (this method is highly susceptible to inaccuracies and tolerance stacking).

There are two general types of 3d scanners,  Laser and Structured light.  Lasers are more accurate but require the use of reflective targets (round stickers that must be place on the scanned object),  this is how the scanner tracks itself through 3d space and lends itself to the improved accuracy over structured light scanners.   Laser scanners also can not capture texture (color).     Structured light scanners  project basically a bar code onto the object and the camera's read the deformation of the bar code calculating distance.   Structured light scanners can capture color in their scans as well, useful for forensics, artifact scanning, heritage preservation, archaeology,  video game asset creation, etc.   These scanners are however not as accurate as their laser counterparts.   



3d Scanning applications

  •  Obsolete part recreation 

  • Reverse engineering

  • Automotive accessory design

  • Engineering of assemblies/parts to fit current components in industrial applications such as mills/power plants

  • Foundry pattern digitizing

  • Firearm custom fit accessories such as Kydex holsters

  • First article inspection against CAD models (Our Handyscan 700 can also be used as a CMM)

  • Injection molded part inspection against CAD models

  • Aircraft Damage inspection (exports detailed damage report in Excell)

  • Pipeline Corrosion inspection (exports detailed damage report in Excell

  • Forensics

  • Digital Cataloging for website content (users can interact with product)

  • Video Game and digital content asset creation

  • Heritage preservation and cataloging of sacred artifacts

  • Museum artifact digitizing

  • Archaeology

  • Paleontology

  • Prosthetics 

  • and much more!!  



Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering is the process of taking collected scan data and using it as a reference to build a solid model from usually inferring the original designers intent without any flaws and maintaining symmetry along with true dimensions that make sense.     Planes parallel to each other, perfectly round circles, arcs and lines that have tangential relations, etc.   ​

Before starting any reverse engineering project, there are several key topics that need to be discussed with the client.

  • What is the desired end result?

  • Does the client want a scan with some quick surfaces laid over it for 3d printing?

  • Does the client require a fully parametric solid model with an editable feature tree?

  • Budget-  A fully reverse engineered model can be quite complex and take hours to days to fully get into a fully parametric solid model.  

What needs reverse engineered?

  • Obsolete and out of production parts

  • Foundry patterns for which no digital data exists

  • Handmade prototypes and the need to create digital solid models and drawings for.

  • Mold plugs, for digitizing as well as the ability to create an exact opposite hand version of. 

  • Designing equipment and accessories for an existing product or piece of equipment. =

What can you expect to receive when you employ our services.

We can provide you with a simple partial scan .stl mesh file for you to reverse engineer yourself all the way to a fully parametric solid model and detailed drawings.  The choice is yours! 

As far as mesh file format deliverables, we can supply the following to be compatible with your software of choice.  

 .dae, .fbx, .ma, .obj, .ply, .stl, .txt, .wrl, .x3d, .x3dz, .zpr



Solid model file formats

We use Ansys Spaceclaim for mesh to solid reverse engineering because of its efficiency in referencing a mesh file.   We can send native Spaceclaim files,  .iges, .step or we can send a fully parametric solidworks 2019 solid model, again the choice is yours!

Reverse engineering workflow example


Our Scanners

We invested in the best equipment to serve you're needs,  Below are the brochures and technical specifications for our two current scanners. Click below for information on that scanner


Handyscan 700


Go!Scan 50


Scanning and reverse engineering gallery

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© 2019. Rampage Manufacturing LLC