Digitization by a scanner is an increasingly frequent stage in the 3D PRINTING PROCESS. It is a process that captures the shapes and colours of the surface of an object. Once this information has been compiled, this technology immediately creates a computer file that can be modified, archived or transferred later. The primary asset of 3D digitization is that it saves time. Scanning avoids having to create a file from scratch using CAD software. It is therefore possible to scan an object directly and match up to the shape of the object to be printed.
The 3D digitization process comprises three stages:
acquisition of clouds of dots by a 3D scanner data recovery, assembly of views collected and finishing to obtain a clean .stl format file processing of the post-acquisition file:
3D scanners, and 3D printers, are used in many fields including rapid prototyping:
cutting-edge industries: like aeronautics, automotive and medical, construction industry: building, architecture, archaeology, aesthetic and display activities: art, design, jewellery, packaging.
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The technology in this area is constantly breaking ground. The main 3D printing technologies are the triangulation scanner and structured light scanner.
It is a 3D scanning process that involves three points:
the object to be scanned, the departure point of the laser on the 3D scanner and the 3D scanner camera. These three points form a triangle, which explains the term "triangulation scanner" technique.
Once the distance and angle between the laser transmitter and the camera are known, it only remains to calculate the distance between the laser transmitter and the object to be scanned on the one hand and the camera and the object to be scanned on the other.
A laser strip rather than a point is commonly used to scan the object in order to speed up data acquisition.
The triangulation scanner technique admittedly offers a scope that is limited to a few metres, but it offers good precision, of approximately ten micrometers.
It is built on the same model as triangulation scanners. It involves a light source transmitter and a camera or a slightly remote head-camera. The difference lies in the scanning process. This 3D scanner projects a known geographic pattern of white light (round, square, triangles etc.), rather like an overhead projector. The shape defined by the pattern is analyzed by the software which accurately calculates the distances between the points and the deformation relative to the original shape. The deformed pattern on the object allows the software to deduce the contours and topography of the model. This technology is extremely rapid as it scans the whole object in one go. This avoids distortion problems due to movements of the scanner or of the object. It is thus possible for some of them to scan moving objects in 3D!
Time-of-flight 3D scannerhe principle of this scanning technology lies in the calculation of the distance and the time it takes the laser to reach the object to be scanned. The accumulation of a cloud of dots defines a 3D object.
Photogrammetry reconstructs a 3D shape from photographs using projective geometry.
The contact scanner This involves touching the 3D object for the laser to detect the surface points.
These technologies use the same principle: software that masters the whole process is connected to a board. The vectorized information from clouds of dots are transferred in motion data to the scanner head. Two mirrors, located at the top of the scanner, deflect the beam to a level at X and Y. As for the Z axis, a separate lens is used to move the laser focus in height.
This 3D scanning technique helps speed up the design of the .stl file, an essential step in 3D printing.
Several variables will affect the choice of 3D scanner, including:
the type of object to be scanned. Firstly, on human faces, it is not recommended to use a laser directly in contact with the skin. For the visible parts of the body, triangulation scanners are used.
the resolution. This corresponds t the precision of the dot per mm2.
scanning speed: it is determined by the 3D scanner's resolution A scanner can indeed take less than a second to lower resolutions, up to several minutes for high resolutions.
the dimension of the object to be scanned: it will determine whether the 3D scan should be mobile or tripod.
the brightness of the environment process that captures the shapes and colours of the surface of an object. Once this information has been compiled, this technology immediately creates a computer file that can be modified, archived or transferred later.
The primary asset of 3D digitization is that it saves time. Scanning avoids having to create a file from scratch using CAD software. It is therefore possible to scan an object directly and match up to the shape of the object to be printed.