PADT just released a line of computer workstations specifically designed for use with a variety of optical scanners: geoCUBE Scanning Workstations.
Scanning technology has come a long way. It is relatively easy to scan a real physical part with a variety of different scanning technologies and capture the geometry for use in inspection, design, reverse engineering, or to directly replicate a part with 3D Printing. The problem is that a good scanner produces a huge number of data points and a standard office computer, laptop, or even most CAD workstations bog down and perhaps even crash when you try to view or manipulate that much data.
When we ran into that exact problem here at PADT when we were doing scanning services for customers. On a nice CAD workstation it was taking almost a whole day to clean up and process a full scan or a large part. Our manufacturing team asked if they could power one of the CUBE Simulation Computers we use for CFD. If you know CFD people you know they said “No, but can I also run on your box if you are not using it?” So they went to our IT staff, the people who design CUBE systems and asked for a custom built machine for scanning.
The result was a breakthrough. That 20 hour job was finishing in about two hours and we were able to spin the points and the resulting triangle file around on the screen in real time. We liked it so much we decided to come up with four systems spanning the needs of scanning users, and offer them along with the scanner we sell, or to anyone that might need one.
Below is a screen shot of the table showing the four systems, from a basic small box that you can use to drive your scanner, to the power system that we use. You can download the brochure here, or visit the web page here.