How 3D Scanners Are Used in the Manufacturing Process
The 3D scanner is emerging as a critical tool in the manufacturing process. These devices are giving many companies a significant competitive edge by proving to shorten manufacturing and product development time.
The 3D scanning market is showing no signs of slowing down either with the industry projected to reach over 8 billion dollars by 2025.
This is thanks to the advancement of their portability, image quality, and scanning range. These technological leaps are fueling their usage in a large number of industries such as the healthcare, preservation, and entertainment sectors.
The manufacturing industry is showing the same trends, but in what ways are they proving useful? Can 3D scanners really outperform coordinate measurement machines and other useful tools?
Read on and discover how 3D scanners are being utilized in the manufacturing process today.
Additive manufacturing is another term for 3D printing and it is proving to be the future of the manufacturing industry.
As additive manufacturing creeps up as an industry standard, there will be a demand for knowledge on more 3D technology benefits.
For example, the automotive manufacturing industry is requiring an increase in the levels of precision, repeatability, and traceability. In turn, several automotive companies are researching solutions like 3D scanning.
3D scanners allow these companies to take scans of physical components and transfer them into the virtual world. Thus, production teams are able to increase the efficiency of their communication by sharing design information.
Increasing these levels of productivity will prove essential as more competitors begin to utilize the same processes.
Using both 3D printing and scanning can also help to manufacture products that may not have been possible with traditional manufacturing techniques.
However, there are some roadblocks that come with the adoption of new technologies.
New 3D scanners can be quite pricey and some companies may not be as keen on increasing the budget for the fancy new tech. Luckily, Go3DPro has used, refurbished and rental options for today's top-of-the-line scanners.
For now, additive manufacturing is limited to smaller parts in the industry. But as the technology moves forward, larger parts will also be manufactured this way. In the future, additive manufacturing and 3D scanning will be the industry standard.
Assessing New Production Lines
The benefits of using 3D scanners on the product itself are apparent. But, what about using scanners to improve the process itself?
Production lines aren't perfect and need tweaking from time to time. In fact, small changes to production lines are quite common. Even though the changes are small, the solutions can often take quite a while.
It costs a tremendous amount of time and energy to develop new production lines with the risk of obsolescence hanging in the air. What happens when you install a new production line and it proves useless?
All of that time planning and crafting a new system is flushed down the drain and then you're back on square one of the drawing board again.
But with 3D scanning, companies are now finding a lower-risk solution to implementing these new systems.
Now the innovators can take a 3D scanner through their production line during a live operation. The 3D scanner can get three-dimensional images of how the whole facility operates. This allows them to collect data on how best to incorporate a new system.
Brainstorming for new innovations in production lines is happening constantly. As smaller changes are needed on a regular basis, 3D scanning technology can help to iron out these problems quicker and easier.
Of course, the real challenge lies in evaluating the massive data set you receive when scanning an entire production line. But it is a much better problem to have when you have too many details rather than too few.
Quality Checking the Manufacturing Process
In the manufacturing industry, quality is king. Being competitive often requires that every product off of your line comes out as close to perfect as possible.
3D scanners are an extremely useful tool for manufacturing companies, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Sure being competitive mean producing quality parts, but the speed at which you do so is also important.
3D scanners and their software can help optimize workflow. They provide a quick and easy way to examine the quality of manufactured parts or products.
There are so many companies out there that still use ancient, manual QC equipment like calipers and gauges. Some operations that require more precise solutions may use Coordinate Measurement Machines (CMM's).
However, it is common for these machines to take at least 20 minutes to move around and process measurements on a product.
This is why more companies are turning to 3D scanning technology which can take millions of data points all in a matter of just a few seconds.
This way of quality assurance is especially helpful when manufacturing large products like those in the aerospace industry. In aerospace manufacturing, errors happen all the time when fitting together such large parts. 3D scanning the final product is one of the only efficient ways to fix problems like these.
Manufacturing a New Tomorrow
3D scanners have become a vital part of the manufacturing process.They are useful for almost every aspect of manufacturing, from quality assurance of a product to the production line itself.
It is apparent that they will only become more important to manufacturers in the future as they improve with the rest of technology.
If you're interested in learning more about 3D scanners, be sure to check out the scanners we offer here at Go3DPro. Our team is very knowledgeable and will help you every step of the way!