How to choose a metrology 3D scanner?
With the continuous evolution of technology, the 3D scanning market boasts a broad array of brands, device categories and price levels leaving consumers with multiple options to choose from. Today we take a deep dive into key criteria of choosing an industrial 3D scanner, providing you with the details about characteristics and application areas of different types of metrology 3D scanners. Hope this article could help you walk away perfectly equipped to find the device able to cope with your applications.
Part 1 – Selection criteria of metrology 3D scanners
The following indicators are the most important when evaluating different models of 3D scanning devices:
- Usage scenario requirements, size, texture and scanning time
- User testimonials
- Brand and service
- Software upgrades
Part 2 – Features of two metrology 3D scanner
High accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanners: accuracy and details
The point cloud generation principle of high accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanners and handheld 3D scanners is different. The former can output single frame point cloud, while the latter generates point cloud by aligning and fusing multi-frame data, which enables the high accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanner´s high performance in accuracy and details under the same imaging conditions:
- Metrology-grade accuracy, the highest accuracy level of OptimScan series can reach 0.005mm with stable precision.
- Good restoration of details.
(OptimScan series 3D scanner scanning details)
Handheld 3D scanners: portability and material adaptability
Handheld 3D scanners have advantages in terms of portability and material adaptability due to the nature of the laser light source:
- Scanning is flexible, convenient and fast (FreeScan UE weighs only 750g and is thus light and easy to use), scanning of a car can be completed in 10 minutes.○Wide range of adaptable materials. For some black and reflective sample parts, no spray is required, objects can be scanned directly.○ High precision (FreeScan UE has an accuracy of up to 0.02mm and stable repeatability).
Part 3 – Key points in choosing between two types of metrology 3D scanners
When it comes to the actual selection, the most important thing to focus on is the requirement for data quality and the scanning scenario.
High requirements for accuracy and details – recommended high accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanners
- Small precision parts with high requirements for accuracy and details
(High-level production line, required accuracy at 0.005-0.015mm)
High requirements for portability and material adaptability – recommended handheld 3D scanners
Scanning samples cannot be disassembled or moved
(Scanned samples are black, highly reflective and unsuitable for spray)
General selection reference
- Choose a high accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanner if you have strict accuracy and detail requirements (for precision measurement of black and highly reflective parts, scanning can be done with the help of surface spray).
- Use a portable 3D scanner to meet the requirements for portability and material flexibility.
- Apart from these two clear requirements, our recommended range of options are as follows:
Cognitive misconceptions of selection
There exists a misconception about high accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanners and handheld 3D scanners, i.e., people mistakenly believe that high accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanners are not flexible enough and feature slow scan speed, but in fact, they are not. High accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanners offer the advantages of fast speed, efficiency, high accuracy, and good repeatability, especially in scanning scenarios where, for example, products are easily moved or have complex structural contours, or even where CPK batch inspection is required.
For example, scanning a pipeline pump aluminum impeller with a diameter of approximately 8 cm. With the help of an automatic turntable, 3D data can be obtained in less than a minute.
Additionally, the high accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanner is incredibly efficient when combined with collaborative robots or multiple machines for batch inspection and automatic report output.
3D inspection of the F35 fighter production line
Part 4 – Application examples of two metrology-grade 3D scanners
High accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanners
(Example 1: Scanning the lower casing of an optical modem)
(Example 2: Scanning the constituent parts of a mobile phone)
(Example 3: Thin-walled parts of 0.16 mm at the thinnest point)
(Example 4: 6mm diameter precision parts)
(Example 5: Plastic mould, accuracy required within 0.03mm)
Handheld FreeScan UE Pro 3D Laser scanner
(Example 1: Scanning an aircraft engine pipeline)
(Example 2: Scanning mechanical casting parts)
(Example 3: Scanning highly reflective moulds)
We hope that we could provide you some useful insights and valuable takeaways. Here is a summary of the main learnings of this article:
- For small to medium-sized precision parts, use high accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanners.
- For medium to large parts and the same equipment that needs to be used in multiple scenarios, choose a handheld 3D scanner.
- At the same time, more and more users with high requirements for dimensional inspection are equipped with both high accuracy structure light 3D inspection scanners and handheld 3D scanners to meet the different 3D inspection requirements in design and production, to improve efficiency and enhance product quality.
Do you look to buy an industrial-grade 3D scanner and wish further consultation? Our team is here for you! Reach out to us and we will gladly assist you to find the 3D scanner that meets your needs and makes your daily work and life easier.