3D Printers / Scanners

3D Printers / Scanners

3D printing is any of various processes in which material is joined or solidified under computer control to create a three-dimensional object, with material being added together (such as liquid molecules or powder grains being fused together). 3D printing is used in both rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing. Objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and typically are produced using digital model data from a 3D model or another electronic data source such as an Additive Manufacturing File (AMF) file (usually in sequential layers). There are many different technologies, like stereolithography (SLA) or fused deposit modeling (FDM). Thus, unlike material removed from a stock in the conventional machining process, 3D printing or Additive Manufacturing builds a three-dimensional object from computer-aided design (CAD) model or AMF file, usually by successively adding material layer by layer.

3D Scanning technologies allow for the creation of of 3-dimensional objects. By using 3D scanning you will be able to capture a digital copy of a physical real world object. To exemplify the extent to which 3D scanning will have impact, imagine for example the reconstruction of a severely damaged human skull, that was scanned and replicated in titanium. Or the fact that we can digitize cultural heritage and art, making it timeless and immune to the effect of wars. Moving forward, one can imagine a world where basically everything has a digital counterpart. A world where the difference between physical and digital no longer exists, where VR is just as real as anything else.

Photogrammetry is the easiest way to get started in 3D scanning. The method is based on taking 2D pictures around an object, from different angles, and stitching them together into a single 3-Dimensional image. The last part being handled by software. It only requires a camera to do so and that means that you can go ahead and do it right now, even with your smartphone. Next step is to stitch your photos together to create a 3 dimensional mesh of the object you captured. 123D Catch, Trimensional, or Trnio are all great apps for this. The software will match all overlapping points of the images and create a 3D model.

Light-based scanning There’s two common types of light based scanners used for 3D scanning - “structured light” and “laser scanning”. Structured light scanners send patterns of light onto the object to capture. Based on the deformations of the pattern it determines the model form and creates a 3D mesh, or digital replica. Laser scanning uses a slightly different method. It measures the angle of the reflected lasers which it can translate into coordinates of an object and therefore into a 3D mesh.

  • Construction industry and civil engineering
  • Design process
  • 3D photography
  • Law enforcement
  • Real estate
  • Cultural heritage
  • Medical CAD/CAM
  • Quality assurance and industrial metrology
  • Cultural heritage
  • Virtual/remote tourism
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