3D Scanning

This is the companion entry to the previous 3D probing one.  There are many free and low-cost software solutions to optical scanners.  Commercial scanners range from thousands of dollars to hundred thousand or so.

One very excellent low-cost ( about $200) program is called David’s Laser Scanner. The links are include in the write-up below together with free conversion software.  Actually the best way today is to use a projector and project different patterns on the object to measure under the program’s control and in a few seconds a very good 3D copy is created.  Look for articles on “Structured Light”.    Spend some time on David’s website and see the result of user-submitted scanned objects.

3D Probing

To duplicate an object it is sometimes necessary to accurately measure it.  There are basically two directions to go: To measure point by point with a digital probe or other point measuring device or to use an optical scanner to obtain the desired information.

The digital probe requires a CNC system that is used to obtain point by point data measurements.  When the highest accuracy is needed that is the way to go.  Commercial probes are very expensive, many thousands of dollars.  Here is a link to how to make your own and the software to convert the measured data.