Getting to know PADT: Zeiss and Geomagic Scanning Products

 This post is the fourteenth installment in our review of all the different products and services PADT offers our customers. As we add more, they will be available here.  As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to info@padtinc.com or give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT.

As engineers, we spend most of our time trying to get geometry we create in a computer out into the real world as a physical part.  But sometimes, we need to go the other way. We need to get real geometry into a computer.  Once there we can measure it accurately, modify it, simulate it, or use it as a reference to design something that connects to it.

There is a lot of power in being able to quickly and accurately digitize objects. Here at PADT we make that power available to our customers through our Scanning & Reverse Engineering Services and through the sale of the same tools we use to our customers so they can bring scanning in-house.  In particular, we represent high-fidelity scanners and software from ZEISS and Geomagic.

Creating Accurate Digital Models

Our own experience with scanning taught us the hard way that the key to creating accurate digital models was outstanding hardware and powerful software. There are a lot of solutions that take shortcuts to “make it easier” or to keep cost down.  We tried those, they didn’t work.  That is why we settled on ZEISS and Geomagic tools because they do work, and they work well.  The process of digitizing geometry is simple: put the part in front of a scanner, scan it, and get a point cloud.  The reality is that the right hardware and software determines if you will spend days to get gigabytes of useless data or if you spend a few hours to get a useful and accurate computer model that you can work with.

Structured Light Scanning

The scanners from ZEISS and Geomagic both use a technology called Structured Light Scanning. Some also refer to it as Fringe Projection.  The way it works is that you couple a precise light projector with a high-resolution digital camera. The projector projects a series of lines onto the part and the camera records how that pattern distorts. The pattern is varied to get more resolution.  The part is also rotated or projector-camera assembly is moved around the part. Either way, light is projected onto the surface in a pattern, and the distorted pattern is recorded.

Then some sophisticated math is used to turn how the pattern is distorted into a highly accurate collection of points across the surface of your part.  That is the end result of Structured Light Scanning – millions of points that sit on the surface of your part.

World Class Scanning Hardware

The quality of the hardware used is key to success in this area.  To be accurate you need a very precise projector, an accurate digital camera (called a sensor in this application) and world-class optics.  Which is how we ended up working with ZEISS.  Their optics are second to none, and they have developed or acquired the best projector and sensor technology in the industry. Combine that with their famous German engineering and quality processes, and you end up with a robust and accurate solution that is second to none.

COMET Structured Light Scanners Deliver

The following COMET Systems from ZEISS are available through PADT:

SystemKey FeaturesResolutionLensesMin VolumeMax Volume
COMET 6 8MIntelligent Light Control
High Speed Sensor
6 Lenses and Fields of View
3296 x 2472 (8 Mp)686 x 64 x 40 mm1216 x 912 x 600 mm
COMET 6 16M4896 x 3264 (16 Mp)681 x 54 x 40 mm1,235 x 823 x 600 mm
COMET L3D 2Compact Design
5 Lenses and Fields of View
Desktop Compatible
2448 x 2050 (5 Mp)545 x 38 x 30 mm481 x 404 x 250 mm
COMET L3D 1MCompact Design
Multiple Resolutions
Multiple Lense Options
Conventional Mount
1170 x 880 (1 Mp)392 x 69 x 60 mm370 x 277 x 250 mm
COMET L3D 2M1600 x 1200 (2 Mp)3100 x 75 x 60400 x 300 x 250 mm
COMET L3D 5M2448 x 2050 (5 Mp)545 x 38 x 30 mm480 x 400 x 250 mm
COMET L3D 8M3296 x 2472 (8 Mp)480 x 60 x 40565 x 425 x 350 mm

Our ZEISS COMET web page is here.

Portable Laser Scanning with Touch Probe May Be a Perfect Fit

Some parts are too big for structured light scanning. Or sometimes you may want to measure a few locations on a larger part.  For those situations, the ZEISS T-SCAN CS Handheld scanner is the perfect fit.  It combines an optical tracking unit, a handheld laser scanner, and a touch probe to give you the flexibility you need to take measurements on large objects. The touch probe is especially useful for measuring key features and locations.

View more about the T-SCAN CS here.

Geomagic Capture Scanners Deliver Portability and Cost Savings

Many of our customers needed a portable solution that cost less and was really only needed to get geometry into their CAD systems.  We searched and found that the Geomagic Capture scanners from 3D Systems are a perfect balance between functionality and cost, delivering high value.

SystemWeightResolutionMin Field of ViewStandoff DistanceMax Field of View
Capture1.35 kg0.11 mm180 x 124 x 120 mm300 mm180 x 190 x 175 mm
Capture Mini1.04 kg0.08 mm70 x 87 x 68 mm157 mm70 x 88 x 87 mm

Learn more about the Geomagic Capture Scanners here.

Proven Scanning Software

Once the points have been captured, no matter how accurately that was done, they are useless if you don’t have the right software tools. Geomagic 3D software and hardware tools are industry leaders for one simple reason: they work. For reverse engineering, inspection, scanning, cleaning up point clouds, or working with mesh-based geometry, no other set of solutions comes close to the capability and robustness of the Geomagic tool package.  We use three packages:

Geomagic Design X: Reverse Engineering

Geomagic Wrap: Point Data to Polygon Models

Geomagic Control: Inspection Automation

Let’s Talk about, And Look At, Your Scanning Needs

Scanning is a technology, by its natures, that begs to be seen.  If you have ever considered adding 3D Scanning to your workflow, or want to know how 3D Scanning can help your productivity, accuracy, and quality, contact us for a discussion and a demo.

 

Press Release: ZEISS Industrial Metrology Signs PADT as an Authorized Distributor of its COMET® Series of Blue Light 3D Optical Scanners

Scanning is one of the fastest growing parts of PADT’s business, and with the announcement of a new agreement to distribute for ZEISS Industrial Metrology, we are growing even faster.  Blue Light 3D Optical Scanners are amazing devices that allow users to create accurate surface maps of almost any geometry.  We have been using this technology in-house for our scanner services for some time, now we wanted to also make them available to our customers.

You may remember when PADT announced that we had partnered with Steinbichler to provide 3D optical scanners.  Well, we are not dumping Steinbichler.  Their technology was acquired by ZEISS Industrial Metrology.  We have been waiting for the acquisition to finish up and for the Steinbichler team to be fully integrated before we signed up to represent these fantastic devices again.  That happened and we are back selling them in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

What we like about these optical devices are the incredibly accurate lenses, from ZEISS, and the large and accurate CCD chips.  This combination gives fantastic quality.  In addition, we can swap out different lenses for specific applications and the software that comes with the system is outstanding.  After beating our device to death last year on services work, we feel very comfortable recommending it to all of our customers.

Here is a video on the primary product we are selling, the ZEISS L3D 2:

And that is also the advantage of buying your optical scanning solution from PADT. We use this stuff every day on a variety of applications. So we understand our needs, and we know how to get the most out of the hardware and software. So when you are making your decision on what to buy, and when you need support once you have made your investment, you know PADT is the best option to help you out.

Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML.

Visit our web pages for ZEISS equipment and software here.

Here are links to the latest brochures as well:

As always, just give us a call at 480.813.4884 or send an email to sales@padtinc.com to learn more

 

Press Release:

ZEISS Industrial Metrology Signs PADT as an Authorized Distributor of its COMET® Series of Blue Light 3D Optical Scanners

PADT Customers Seeking to Bring Precise Inspection Services or Reverse Engineering In-house Now Have World-class Equipment at Their Fingertips

TEMPE, Ariz., February 27, 2018 Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies (PADT), the Southwest’s largest provider of simulation, product development, and 3D Printing services and products, today announced it has signed an agreement with ZEISS Industrial Metrology to become an authorized distributor of the COMET Series ®  product line of Blue Light Optical Scanners. ZEISS Industrial Metrology is a business group of ZEISS and is a worldwide leading supplier of optical and contact measuring technology.

“When we made the strategic decision to add scanning devices to our distribution portfolio, we evaluated all of the leading structured light 3D optical scanning systems,” said Rey Chu, co-owner and principal, PADT. “The ZEISS COMET clearly emerged as our preferred choice. Not only did it serve as a workhorse, results were more efficient and accurate and we could scan a wider variety of objects. The ZEISS COMET is the obvious choice for our customers who want to bring inspection or reverse engineering services in-house.”

Scanners in the COMET Series utilize the latest blue light technology to capture 3D data accurately and fast. The system operates by projecting patterned light, also called structured light, onto an object and the camera captures the image. The Colin3D software processes the image and creates a 3D “point cloud” with millions of points. The software further processes point cloud data for downstream applications – reverse engineering, inspection and rapid prototyping to name a few. The portable COMET series has two models – COMET 6 and COMET LƎD 2.

“PADT was selected as an authorized distributor of our COMET Series because of its depth and breadth of knowledge of engineering services and 3D scanning technology,” said John Grzybowski, business sales manager at ZEISS Industrial Metrology. “They serve as an excellent partner and a valued ambassador of the ZEISS brand.”

PADT has been completing its own scanning projects with this technology for more than two years and is now able to offer the innovation of ZEISS equipment to its customers in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

“ZEISS is a household name in the optics and 3D scanning world with an outstanding reputation for innovation and quality,” said Mario Vargas, manager of hardware sales, PADT. “We are delighted with the opportunity to expand our portfolio and offer our customers these industry leading scanners.”

To learn more about PADT and the COMET Series product line, visit www.padtinc.com or call 1-800-293-7238.

About PADT

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long-term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.” With over 80 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Torrance, California; Littleton, Colorado; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Murray, Utah, and Austin, Texas, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.

About ZEISS Industrial Metrology

The Industrial Metrology business group is a leading manufacturer of multidimensional metrology solutions. These include coordinate measuring machines, optical and multisensor systems, and metrology software for the automotive, aircraft, mechanical engineering, plastics and medical technology industries. Innovative technologies such as 3D X-ray metrology for quality inspection round off the product portfolio. The business group additionally offers a broad global spectrum of customer services with measuring houses and competence centers close to its customers.

The Industrial Metrology business group is headquartered in Oberkochen. Production and development sites outside Germany are located in Minneapolis in the USA, Shanghai, China and Bangalore, India. The business group is allocated to the Research & Quality Technology segment. Around 6,300 employees work for the segment, generating revenue totaling €1.5 billion in fiscal year 2016/17. More information on ZEISS can be found at www.zeiss.com/metrology

# # #

Media Contact
Alec Robertson
TechTHiNQ on behalf of PADT
585-281-6399
alec.robertson@techthinq.com
PADT Contact
Eric Miller
PADT, Inc.
Principal & Co-Owner
480.813.4884
eric.miller@padtinc.com

Part Scanning – An Update

3d-optical-scanner-1Did you know that PADT does scanning of parts?  No? You are not alone. We recently ran into several customers who were sending their scanning out of state and didn’t know that they could have it done by PADT, someone who is already a trusted partner. So we thought it would be a good time to do an update on our Scanning services and provide some additional background on what it is.

Part Scanning 101

The idea behind part scanning is that you want to take a part in the real world, and get an accurate model in a computer. To do this you somehow measure the part with a computer, getting a three dimensional representation of the parts surface.  Today, there are six basic ways to do this:


Physical Measurement (CMM)
Measure points on the part relative to some reference. This is great for measure simple geometry where you can reconstruct it by knowing key dimensions.
scanning-laser-scanningLaser Scanning
This process shines a laser on an object and measures the distance to the object. It does this thousands of times to build up a point array of the surface


scanning-structured-lightStructured Light Scanning
This process puts down a series of parallel lines, or a grid of lines, and measures how far they distort from a flat pattern. With this information it can create a massive amount of points on the objects surface.

scanning-cssCross Sectional Scanning
If you need to see inside, light based scanning does not work. In cross sectional scanning you machine away thin slices of an object and take an accurate picture of each layer as you go. This can then be turned in to an accurate representation of both the inside and outside of the object.
scanning-ct-scannerVolumetric Scanning
Another way around the fact that light can not penetrate an object is to use various types of radiation, like X-Rays, that go inside an object. Although new for industrial applications this method is growing for complex parts with internal geometry.
scanning-photometric-scanningPhotometric Scanning
If accuracy is not critical, then software can take pictures taken from dozens of views and reconstruct a 3D shape.  This is used most often for art and entertainment, but is not precise enough for engineering yet.

PADT offers Structured Light and Cross Sectional Scanning

scanning-point-cloud-surfaceAll of these methods create points in space.  The more sophisticated the software, the more automatic the process of assembling the points to define the surfaces of the full object. These points are sometimes called a “point cloud.”

The Point cloud can them be turned in to a faceted representation of the object.  For many people, this is all they need. This faceted representation can be rendered on a computer screen or 3D Printed.  It can also be used with inspection software to determine the accuracy of the part relative to its original specification as well as variations across multiple copies of the same geometry.

scanning-CAD-modelIf users need more, like a full CAD model, that can be created from the point cloud using specialized software.  PADT uses Geomagic DesignX.  This tool not only creates usable geometry, but it can export in the customer’s native CAD format.

To do accurate part scanning you need:

  1. A precision scanning device
  2. Software to take the measured data and create an accurate point cloud. This includes repair and cleanup tools.
  3. Software to convert the point cloud into a usable 3D CAD model
  4. or, Software to conduct accurate inspection on the measured geometry.

All of these tools require some training and practice to use efficiently.  It is fairly easy to get ball park computer models using consumer level tools. But to get accurate, engineering quality results the right tools and processes must be applied.

Why does Part Scanning Take so Long and Cost So Much?

When people ask for their first part scanning quote, they can often be surprised by the cost. The scanning process doesn’t look that hard. And to be honest, the amount of time you actually spend scanning most parts is pretty short.  The time is spent on the preparation, scanning hard-to-reach areas, the clean up, and then converting the data in to usable formats.

scanning-doing-the-workIf we are working with a light based scanner, we have to prepare the parts so that they reflect the light properly. Sometimes we have to cover the part with a find powder, sometimes we may even have to paint it.  What we need is for the reflection and color of the part to not interfere with the scanning.

If we are using cross sectional scanning, the part needs to be cast inside a rigid material, so the part we are scanning does not distort as we remove layers.  In addition, if the part is not a solid light or dark color, it may need to be died to provide contrast for the camera.

Both processes also require some study to determine the orientation of the part relative to the scanner and how the scanning process will take place. Once all this is worked out, the scanning often goes very fast. If there are nasty little parts that are hard to get to or that confuse the device, the engineer may have to modify things, do some special localized scanning, or even make castings that are then scanned.  As is usual with technical processes, a very small portion of the surface being scanned may take up the vast majority of the scanning time.

Once the scanning is done, the real hard work begins. Although software is much better than it was in the past, the resulting point cloud needs to be massaged and cleaned. Stray data is removed, and points from different scans need to be positioned and combined.  Then everything must be checked. If a CAD solid model is needed, then the engineer must spend considerable time dealing with complex features and transition areas. As with the scanning, the bulk of the time spent creating a CAD model is spent on a relatively small percentage of the geometry.

All of this adds up.  Plus, to be honest, things rarely go as planned and unexpected issues arise that need to be dealt with.

Part Scanning Services at PADT

scanning-geomagic-1Now we get to the important part of this post: hiring PADT to do your scanning.  We added this capability to support our 3D Printing customers that wanted copies of physical parts.  But as we looked at it, we found that we also had customers who needed inspection and reverse engineering of legacy parts. We studied the problem for some time and found the right tools and people to make it happen.

Our primary scanner is a Zeiss Comet L3D 5M STructured light scanner.  It used to be called a Steinbichler, till Zeiss bought them in 2015.  Although it is portable and easy to manipulate, the Comet L3D 5M is highly accurate.  It allows us to scan everything from small medical devices to the front end of acar, and to know that the resulting geometry will be accurate and usable. This is the best option for inspection and reverse engineering of high-precision parts.

scanning-padt-partsWe also have a Geomagic Capture scanner. Although less accurate it is more portable and simpler to operate. It is ideal or taking to a customer and getting geometry for reverse engineering or part copying.

If parts have internal features, and are made of plastic, we use our Cross Sectional Scanners. These high precision devices do a fantastic job and are really the best way to capture inside surfaces. Our customers love it to see how injection molded parts are coming out on well used molds.

If anything else is needed, our experts can outsource to a niche supplier.

Want to do it Yourself?

If you need to do your own scanning, no worries. PADT also sells all the tools we use inhouse to customers that need the capability internally.

Next Steps

scanning-inspection-softwareHopefully this posting has answered most of your questions and you are eager to try 3D Part Scanning.  The best place to start is to get a quote from PADT.  However, if you still have questions then feel free to contact us and fire away. We are passionate bout this capability and love talking about it.

Download our brochure here.

Either way, you can email rp@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884 and ask to talk about Part Scanning. We also have some information on our website at www.padtinc.com/scanning.

3D Printing Users Lunched & Learned about Dealing with Scanned, Repaired, and Legacy Geometry

PADT-Geometry-Scanning-PartnersThis Thursday we had the first of seven free seminars on how to deal with geometry created with 3D scanning, how to repair faceted geometry, and how to deal with old CAD geometry.  Don’t panic, we have six more scheduled. Scroll down to see the schedule and register for upcoming versions of this seminar. The inaugural session was held in PADT’s Tempe office and engineers from several departments across the company shared the tools we use in consulting and the lessons we have learned over the years to a pack room full with customers that represented everything from the home inventor to engineers from some of Arizona’s largest aerospace and electronics companies.

badgeometry

As more and more companies do 3D printing we are finding that they struggle with imperfect geometry. Whether it was scanned, from another CAD system, or an STL (3D Printer) file from someone else, when it came time to print parts people were having difficulty getting valid geometry.  So we created a road show to go over the tools we use here to 1) get good scan geometry in the first place, 2) convert scan geometry into something useful, and 3) repair bad STL and CAD files.

Things got kicked off with a presentation on the various ways you can scan 3D geometry.  Our scanning engineer, Ademola, also demonstrated our Geomagic Capture and Steinbichler scanner on some real parts.

padt-scanning-spaceclaim-seminar-tempe-3-2015_05_14

After some food, we moved on to looking at Geomagic Design X.  This is the tool we use to convert our scan data to a fully usable and clean CAD model.  If you have tried to go from scan to CAD without this tool, you know how much work it is.  padt-scanning-spaceclaim-seminar-tempe-2015_05_14

Next we looked that the tool that we use to import, modify, and clean existing geometry: SpaceClaim.  As the presenter Tyler Smith said “No matter the source of geometry, SpaceClaim is the tool to help”

padt-scanning-spaceclaim-seminar-tempe-2-2015_05_14

We finished up with topological optimization. Where we spent most of the event talking about how to get good geometry, in this last presentation we talked about how to make the geometry better by using simulation to optimize the shape of your parts.

padt-scanning-spaceclaim-seminar-tempe-5-2015_05_14

It was a great crowd with the kind of questions you hope for when doing a seminar.  If you are in the Southwest, there is still time to attend one of these lunch & learns being held in other locations. Click on the event you want to register.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Or you can contact PADT directly to learn more about the products and services we covered, which included:

 

Press Release: Fast, Intuitive, and Precise 3D Scanning Solution from Steinbichler Added to PADT’s Portfolio

steinbichler-PADT-multiproduct-1Yes. Another press release from PADT announcing a new partner.  The truth is we have the advantage of having worked with some great companies in 2014 and we are now fortunate enough to be able to add several of the great products we use in-house to our product offering. It all kind of happened at once.  Don't worry, we are almost done… only one or two more surprises out there.

At the beginning of the year we mentioned that we were offering full professional optical scanning. That service was based on using a Steinbichler blue light scanner. And as is usually with a tool we really like, we quickly negotiated an agreement with that company to represent their products. They offer the COMET line of blue light scanners and the T-SCAN line of laser scanners. There is of course a nice software package, called colin3D, that serves as a way to interact with the devices and get the data into a useful form. Both technologies offer high-precision at a reasonable price, something that not only PADT, but many of our customers were looking for.  

Please find the official press release below or as a PDF file.  You can also learn more about the products on our website here. We hope to schedule some webinars on this tool, and publish some blog articles, in the coming months. But the best way to try out this technology is to have us scan a part for you.

steinbichler-scanning-cnc-part steinbichler-software-slide-2 steinbichler-t-scan-lv-slide-2 steinbichler-comet-l3d-slide-3

As always, feel free to contact us for more information.  

Press Release:

Industry leading 3D Scanning systems are now available through PADT with the addition of both Blue Light and Laser sensors from Steinbichler.  These solutions round out PADT’s offering for complete reverse engineering and inspection, providing greater accuracy and the scanning of very small to very large objects. 

Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT), the Southwest’s largest provider of simulation, product development, and 3D Printing services and products, is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with Steinbichler Vision Systems, Inc. for PADT to become a distributor of Steinbichler’s optical scanning solutions in the Southwestern United States. These highly precise and easy-to-use devices offer PADT’s customers a professional solution for their inspection, quality, and reverse engineering needs.

The COMET line of blue light scanners combine high-end technology, ergonomics, and compact design to offer optimum flexibility and precision for challenging scanning tasks. The product family includes multiple options for resolution and lenses.  The top-of-the-line COMET 6 boasts a 16 megapixel camera, adaptive projection 3D ILC technology, and six different camera lens options. At the same time, the entry level COMET L3D provides outstanding 3D data acquisition and accuracy at an affordable price. 

Coordinate measurement technology can be taken to a new level with the T-SCAN line of devices that couples an ergonomic and lightweight handheld laser scanner with a high precision tracking camera.  A touch probe can also be added for precise location measurement.  The result is a flexible system that allows accurate part measurement of everything from fine surface features to automobiles size objects.

“We have been using a Steinbichler system for our service work with great success” commented Rey Chu, a co-owner of PADT, “and it became obvious that this was the type of equipment, and the type of company, that would be a great match for our customers who needed professional high resolution non-contact 3D scanning and measuring capability.”

PADT is offering these systems with Steinbichler’s colin3D software and geometry tools from Geomagic and ANSYS SpaceClaim. This combination of hardware and software meets the full spectrum of needs encountered by customers to capture, clean, compare, and use geometry from point clouds to usable 3D parametric solid models.

To learn more about the COMET and T-SCAN professional 3D scanners, visit http://www.padtinc.com/steinbichler or contact our technical sales team at 480.813.4884 or sales@padtinc.com.

About Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work. “  With over 75 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at http://www.PADTINC.com.

About Steinbichler
Steinbichler is a worldwide leading manufacturer and supplier of 3D scanning technology. We develop & market highly precise measurement systems with corresponding software solutions for a wide range of applications. Our best in class 3D scanning products – COMET® and T-SCAN are in operation at numerous well-known industrial companies & research institutes. As a technology oriented company, we offer innovative and effective inspection solutions to address our customer’s needs. http://www.steinbichler.com 

Bringing Life to a Sculpture

Art_man-STL-PointsRecent development in 3D scanning technologies have made a wide variety of application a possibility.  3D scanners can capture data on the shape and texture of real world object and transform it into useable 3D CAD model. Our structured light 3D scanners generate quality high density mesh results which are then used for rapid prototyping, computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis, reverse engineering, or inspection to 3D CAD data. The scanner works by using a high resolution camera and lens pair to analyze the deformed projection pattern on an object.

Per customer request, we 3D scanned a custom hand crafted character sculpture and separate standing base. We efficiently scanned the sculpture and base using a turntable allowing for quicker and more accurate data. The scanned data was then sent to the computer for alignment or registration into a common reference system and merged into a complete STL model. Next, we optimized the mesh results for 3D printing and printed the model using our FDM printer.

Art_Man

Using PADT’s structured light scanner and FDM printer we were able to capture and produce a detailed model which brought the character to life.

3D-Scan-Sculpture

Once the object was scanned we sent him to the 3D Printer. Here you can see him being made:

Art_Man-FDM-Building

And this is a shot of him taking his post build bath, to remove the support material from the print:

Art_Man-FDM-Bath

And the final part, looking good:

Art_Man-FDM-Part

The customer can use the scanned model to create different sized versions of their sculpture.

Learn more about our 3D Scanning capabilities on our website, or simply contact us at rp@padtinc.com

3d-optical-scanner-1

geocube-hardware-pics

The Computer

The key to converting large scans into accurate 3D models revolves around having the right computer.  A complex model like this with so much detail can really bog down on a normal design workstation, so PADT developed a special line of CUBE Computers just for scanning, called geoCUBES.  For this project Ademola used a geoCUBE w4 which is crammed full of goodies.  Note the use of six Solid State Drives in raid to remove the I/O bottleneck along with an NVIDIA QUADRO K6000 which helps in visualization as a graphics card and as a GPU in doing all of the number crunching needed.

  • INTEL XEON e5-1620V2 – 4Cores@3.7GHz
  • HD Audio 7.1
  • 64GB DDR3-1866 ECC REG RAM
  • Hardware RAID Controller
  • 6 x 240GB Enterprise Class SSD’s
  • NVIDIA QUADRO K6000
  • Blu-Ray BDXL Combo Drive
  • 3D Connexion SpaceNavigator 3D Mouse

Press Release: Dedicated 3D Scanning Added to Round Out PADT’s Scanning Solutions

3d-optical-scanner-1

PADT has been offering 3D Scanning solutions for some time. Over time the company has added the sale of 3D Scanning hardware and software, training for 3D Scaning, and limited 3D Scanning services.  With the addition of a full time scanning engineer, PADT is now able to offer deciated scanning servcies to our customers.

Ademola Falada joins our team from Minnesota where he worked for a scanner manufacturer, CGI, for two years after graduating with an engineering degree from the University of Minnesota.  He brings extensive knowledge of scanning equipment and the scanning process.  Since joining PADT in the late summer, he has been providing limited services to our existing customers as he builds up our scanning capability and puts everything needed to provide a world class service in place.  He will be assisted by engineers and technicians that have been providing scanning on a part time basis in the past.

cross-sectional-scanning      

By offering optical and cross sectional scanning, PADT can provide a more accurate solution to a broader range of customers.  

Read the press release on this expanded service below

.Geomagic-Capture

You can also review our scanning services on our website

Or simply email us at rp@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884 and our team will be more than happy to explain what we can do and provide you with a quote. 

 geomagic-qualify-probe-screenshot 

Press Release:

Dedicated 3D Scanning Added to Round Out PADT’s Scanning Solutions 

PADT now has a full time engineer and equipment dedicated to providing 3D Scanning services to customers.  Coupled with the sales and support of 3D scanners and software, PADT can now offer a complete solution to its growing number of scanning customers. 

Tempe, AZ – January 8, 2015 – Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT, Inc.), the Southwest’s largest provider of simulation, product development, and rapid prototyping services and products, is pleased to announce the addition of complete 3D part scanning to our services offering.  Based on growing customer requests, PADT has invested in equipment, software, and personnel to provide a dedicated resource in this area.  The company has been providing scanning as a service for many years, but on a part time basis when staff was free and customers could not find another resource.  PADT’s 3D Printing sales team has also been selling scanners and scanning software for over three years.  Bringing someone on board to focus on this critical need in product development was the next logical step.



3D Scanning is used by engineers to take a part in the real world and measure it accurately in order to get a model of the part on a computer.  This is done using a variety of technologies including lasers, patterned light, and high resolution pictures. The technology is used in product development to capture geometry of existing parts to reproduce (reverse engineering) them or design parts that attach or interact with them. It can also be used to inspect manufactured parts.



Ademola Falada joins our team from Minnesota where he worked for a scanner manufacturer, CGI, for two years after graduating with an engineering degree from the University of Minnesota.  He brings extensive knowledge of scanning equipment and the scanning process.  Since joining PADT in the late summer, he has been providing limited services to our existing customers as he builds up our scanning capability and puts everything needed to provide a world class service in place.  He will be assisted by engineers and technicians that have been providing scanning on a part time basis in the past.



“We are now ready to open our doors wide to customers who need accurate, timely, and useful scanning of their parts.” Commented Rey Chu, one of PADT’s owners and the Principal responsible for the company’s manufacturing services. “We never felt that we could deliver the level of service that customers expect from PADT until we had enough equipment and a dedicated engineer. We are there now.”



The scanning lab consists of two CGI Cross Sectional Scanners for high fidelity scanning of complex plastic parts with internal features, a Geomagic Capture blue light scanner, and a Steinbichler high resolution blue light scanner currently under evaluation. This combination of equipment is matched with the full suite of Geomagic scanning software to provide inspection data, cleaned point clouds, tessellated solids (STL), or usable CAD models. 



Customers who are interested in having parts scanned, or who want to learn more about the service, can contact the team at 480.813.4884 or scanning@padtinc.com 



Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering service company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping products and services. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and an experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.“  With over 75 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, its Littleton, Colorado office, Albuquerque, New Mexico office, and Murray, Utah office, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.

Scanning Helps Pediatric Heart Surgeon Make Implant Choices

heart-assist-deviceThe week we had the opportunity to help a surgeon make better decisions for their pediatric heart patient.  Dr Stephen Paphal from the Phoenix Children’s Heart Center had a young patient that needed a ventricular assist device. He could implant a device that they knew would fit in the patient, but they also had an alternative, larger device that performs better. The question they needed to answer was: will the larger device fit in the patient?

This surgeon’s team has previously done work using mechanical engineering technology to help them make better decisions, you may have read about their use of 3D Printing to evaluate different treatment options.  They often work with computer models of patients and devices n collaboration with spinal surgeon Dr. Sandro LaRocca in New Jersey, so they had almost all the tools they needed to help this patient.

For this case, they had a computer model of the smaller assist device, and a computer model of the patient’s heart area that they extracted from a CAT scan. Using those two models and visualization software they were able to insert the device model into the body model to verify that the smaller device would fit.

The issue they faced was that they had no computer model for the larger device.  Creating a model the traditional way would take to long. So they called PADT and asked if we could scan the actual object and give them a computer model that they could use.

Just in Time Scanning

One of PADT’s engineer, Johnathon Wright, took the device to our Geomagic Capture blue light scanner to extract a surface model from the real part.  In this image you can see the device being scanned:

heart-assist-scan-on-tableBecause the device is reflective, we covered it with a white powder to get a better scan. That is all the preparation needed.  The part was placed on a very sophisticated rotational displacement device (a $10 Lazy Susan from WalMart) and the scanner is turned on.  The  little reflective dots you can see on the Lazy Susan are used by the scanning software to determine the position of the objects relative to the scanner.

In this image you can see what the part looks like to the scanner:heart-assist-blue-light-scan-1A rectangular pattern of blue light is projected on to the part being scanned, and the included software measures the distortion in the grid to calculate the shape of the object. As you rotate the object (or the scanner) more data is gathered and an accurate point cloud of the external surface is created.

Here is what the point cloud looks like when the scan is completed:

heart-assist-scan-data

In about an hour, Johnathon was able to go from “can you do this” to a water-tight solid that the Doctor could use with his computer model of the patient to see if this larger, better part fit in the patient’s chest.

Here is what the whole setup looks like:

heart-assist-scan-2

Johnathon used Geomagic’s scanning tools running on a PADT CUBE computer that is specifically optimized for scanning to make the process faster and more accurate. In the past, a task like this would have required an expensive and temperamental laser scanner, a dedicated lab, and probably four to eight hours of engineering time to clean up the resulting scan data. As you can see, the device sits on a desktop and requires very little infrastructure or special equipment.

Disruptive Technology

Any day we can help a physician strive for a better surgical outcome is a good day. Beyond that this is also a great example of how three important aspects of the technology enabled us to deliver useful information quickly, making desktop scanning a disruptive technology.

The first key technology is the blue-light scanning itself.  A form of structure-light 3D scanning, this approach uses a blue light because it contrasts the object better. The breakthrough with this technology is that it does not require expensive lasers or complex optics.  Faster computing allows for the complex algorithms used to be quickly and accurately applied.  The approach does not require any special equipment beyond the scanner itself. This results in an affordable device that is easily deployed and operated.  How easy, the 3D motion capture device on the Microsoft Xbox Kinect is a structure-light 3D scanner – using infrared light instead of blue.

Modern software used to convert the scan data into useful information is the second technology deployed for this solution.  In the past the process of calculating the points on a scanned surface, cleaning up spurious data, and converting it to a form that could be easily used was tedious and difficult.  The Geomagic software suite has a modern, intuitive user interface that sits on top of very sophisticated tools that automate many of the steps that used to take us hours to carry out.

The final key technology that makes desktop scanning so disruptive is one that we take for grated today: standards. We were able to produce an STL file from the scan data and the Doctor’s team was able to read that directly in to their visualization software. It is a simple thing, but without standard file formats, transferring so much data would also involve translators which introduce errors and time.

Engineering Better Outcomes

Here at PADT we truly enjoy applying technology developed in the Aerospace or electronics space to other industries, especially medical applications.  This is another great example of how useful engineering tools can be, improving someones life directly.

Desktop 3D Scanning with Geomagic Capture


Geomagic-Capture

If you have been following PADT closely for a while, you know that we have been working hard to find good scanning solutions for our customers since we started the company twenty years ago.  For many years we recommended professional inspection service providers that used traditional CMM devices to reverse engineer or inspect parts, we just didn’t have a good scanning solution in-house.

A few years back we found a great solution for many of our customers when we started using and selling Cross Sectional Scanners (CSS) from CGI. This technology works great with plastic parts and is highly accurate, especially for parts with internal features. However we still needed a solution for metal parts and parts that you can’t chop up when you inspect them.

sean-head-laser-scanSo we kept looking at scanners, we tried a variety of hand-held laser scanners.  We even made it on the local news using it on a local news anchor to scan his head. But we could not get the ease of use and accuracy we wanted for engineering.

Then Geomagic introduced the Geomagic Capture system and we gave it a try.  We feel that we now have a desktop scanning solution that we can recommend to customers and we have proven we can do engineering services work with. So we now sell the Geomagic Capture scanning system and provide non-destructive 3D scanning as a service.

Here is a great introductory video that shows the system and how it works:

Not a Laser

The big difference with this system is that it is not a laser scanner. It actually is a blue Structured-Light scanner.  Basically it projects a pattern of lines onto an object, and measure how the lines deviate from being straight. That deviation gives a very accurate measurement of the location of points on the surface of the object.  No laser, no reflective dots, no problems with stray data.  
geomagic-capture-scanner

In our testing the system seems to work on a variety of surface types and shapes.  If the object is reflective or too dark, you simply cover it with a chalky powder and everything is good.  Not using lasers, the device is also relatively small and compact.

A System: Hardware and Software

One of the reasons why we like this particular scanner over others is that it is a solution that contains both hardware and software. In fact, the scanner technology itself has been around for some time. What makes this scanner our choice is that Geomagic, experts in dealing with the output from scanners, developed the software that gathers and massages the data coming from the scanner. This makes a huge difference in ease of use.

Our engineers are still learning all the ins-and-outs on the system, but they were able to do productive work with it almost right out of the box.  The software steps you through the process and give really nice visual feedback while you are setting up a scan. This avoid the need to scan, review, fix something, try again, check… round and round.  And once you have good point data, you have the full suite of Geomagic tools to convert it into an STL file or into a usable CAD model.

When you purchase the Geomagic Capture system you have your choice of:

  • Geomagic Capture for SolidWorks
    Add-in software for SolidWorks, that presents the Geomagic tools you need in the SolidWorks interface you are used to working with.
  • Geomagic Capture for SpaceClaim
    Add-in software for SpaceClaim, combining best-in-class scanning, facet, and point cloud tools with a robust direct solid modeler, all in the same interface.
  • Geomagic Capture for Design X
    Powerful and comprehensive advanced reverse engineering that allows you to create feature-based CAD models directly from your scan data.
  • Geomagic Capture for Design Direct
    A bundle that includes SpaceClaim and the Geomagic Capture plug-in as a complete solution for those that do not have a CAD system that supports working with point data. This package is best if you have a CAD package other than SolidWorks or SpaceClaim.

Specifications 

Here are the specifications for the system:

Specification Value
Scan Speed 0.3 sec per scan
Field of View (Diagonal)/Near End – Far End 172 – 260 mm
6.77 – 10.24 in
Field of View (X-Y)/Near End – Far End 123×120 – 192×175 mm
4.84×4.72 – 7.56×6.89 in
Clearance Distance 300 mm
11.81 in
Depth of Field 180 mm
7.09 in
Resolution Average Points 985,000 per scan
Average Polygons 1.97 million per scan
Point to Point Distance 0.162 mm
0.000638 in
(at center of volume)
Accuracy / Near End – Far End 60 – 118 microns
Calibration Pre-calibrated

geomagic-capture-brochureYou can also download the brochure here.

Try it on Your Part

The best way to see if this is the right scanner for you is to contact PADT and have us do a scanning job for you.  As always with PADT we will not just do the work, but we will show you what we did and help you to see what your best solution is.