3D optical scanning as a tool for creating CAD models

3D scanning at Melotte in Zonhoven (Belgium)
26 Oct 2020

3D optical scanning as a tool for creating CAD models of products when no technical drawings or 3D models are available

To give you an example, for our customer Borealis, which is one of the major players in the petrochemical industry, Melotte is regularly requested to manufacture or adapt certain products for which no technical drawings or 3D models are available. In such situations, Melotte uses 3D optical scanning to capture the physical shape of the object and convert it into a digital format. The 3D model that is created can be used in the further manufacturing process of the product. This non-contact digitizing is realized with Melotteā€™s blue light scanner, which offers great flexibility. Data obtained from freeform surfaces are highly accurate, fast, and can be processed for reverse engineering, rapid machining, and quality control.

How exactly does 3D optical scanning work?

A 3D scanner consists of a light source and one or more cameras. Light patterns (usually stripes) are projected onto the object. From there, the object reflects the light patterns back to the camera. Using triangulation, the distance to the scanner can be determined for each point and this creates a 3D point cloud on the object. This point cloud can then be converted into 3D data that is suitable for various applications.

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