A range of sensors has been developed which allow fast and accurate dimensional measurement, with potential for large time and cost savings in reverse engineering and quality assurance in manufacturing.
Quality control and reverse engineering are vital elements in manufacturing, and generally rely on mechanical techniques for dimensional measurement of components, assemblies and extrusions. Such methods, while they are reliable, are extremely time consuming, and many companies are starting to use optical measurement techniques which capture data more than 1000 times faster. The quick and accurate measurement of object dimensions is a real source of added value.
Project 3DSCAN aimed to advance existing technology for three-dimensional optical measurement and to demonstrate a prototype 3D optical scanning system incorporated into different computer-integrated manufacturing environments. Three main instrument types were developed: a laser line based sensor for scanning unknown free-form surfaces (on a digital platform such as computer numerically controlled (CNC) and CMM), an area-based optical sensor (FFA Sensor) capable of scanning a variety of shapes without manual intervention, and an intelligent programmable laser system (STRIPE laser scanner system) which can interface with a PC.
The commercial opportunities for the technology are extremely wide, and plans to exploit it are at an advanced stage, with prototypes of the main results showing very positive performance in demonstrations by the project partners.
The technology developed in 3DSCAN is an important contribution towards improving reverse engineering and quality control in manufacturing processes. Exploitation opportunities are considerable, and demonstrations have been undertaken for all of the sensors. The laser line based sensor is being marketed under the name REVERSA by one of the project partners, 3D Scanners, in Europe, the US and the Far East. Projected sales for this product are promising. The FFA sensor is proving accurate and fast, with great commercial potential for the inspection of free-form surfaces, such as bearings. The STRIPE laser has been set up in a pilot installation by project partners 3D Scanners and TUB, and results are equally positive.
A major aspect of the 3DSCAN project was the development of the Range Image Standard (RIS) which allows 3D measurements from any sensor to be processed by any computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) system. This standard has already been adopted by 4 leading CAD/CAM companies in the field of surface reconstruction. The range of scanners produced offers substantial advantages over existing technologies, both through their accuracy in making optical dimensional measurements and through their ability to communicate with a standard set of platforms. As part of this, 3DSCAN has also developed a 3D Range Image Toolbox Application (RITA) which converts the standard files in RIS into surface models compatible with most CAD/CAM systems.
Reverse Engineering and quality control are major considerations in all manufacturing industries. Applications will be in design departments and studios or in any production process which requires rapid and accurate measurement of the dimensions of manufactured objects. Advanced prototypes have already been demonstrated by the project partners, and the RITA software is being developed for commercialisation.
tel +44-171-922-8822 -- fax +44-171-922-8899
Research Area Integration in Manufacturing
Keywords CAD; CAM; CNC; industrial quality control, automated;inspection systems; sensors; vision systems;
|3D Scanners Ltd UK|
|Liverpool Polytechnic UK|
|Technische Universität Berlin DE|
|Université Claude Bernard Lyon FR|
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