Optical 3D scanners create digital versions of physical objects. 3D printers create physical parts from digital data. Some synergies are clear; however, the full potential of pairing the technologies remains untapped. Metrology class 3D scanners can play a role at multiple stages in the 3D printing process. 3D scan data is often used as an input device for 3D printers. Common applications include creating direct replicas of real-world objects and customizing products to work with existing geometry. Each scenario will require specific data processing techniques to achieve the desired results. At the other end of the process, after a 3D printer has produced a part, a 3D scanner becomes a vital quality control tool. Traditional measuring techniques fall short when it comes to characterizing the complex geometries output by a 3D printer. Whereas, the millions of XYZ coordinates captured by 3D scanners allow for an in-depth dimensional analysis of a printed part as well as direct comparison to the nominal geometry. Deviations found in a scan based analysis can then be applied as corrections to future iterations of the printed part.
- Identify how 3D scan data can be used to augment the capabilities of their 3D printer.
- Describe the general processing steps required to both create printable models from scan data and to use scan data to verify dimensional quality of printed parts