3D Scanning is an optical metrology method used for surface measurement and surface inspection. It is typically done through a camera or light source, and the surface of the object is not touched or destroyed.
Lasers and Structured Light (DLP) are most commonly used to scan the object and create "point clouds" of data that are then sent to the preferred 3D design program. The data is then reassembled through triangulation to recreate a digital rendering of the object. This rendering can be used to create duplicates of the original, physical object through manufacturing methods or to study or adapt the design for new purposes.
In addition to laser scanning, 3D images may also be capture through cameras (photogrammetry), where photographs are pieced together to create a full view of the item.
The DLP type of 3D scanning has shown incredible promise in industrial manufacturing, especially as it relates to automation in factory processes. DLP projectors provide fast part inspection to help meet quality control requirements in the automotive industry, for example. These projectors can be mounted on robotic arms, taking the human element out of scanning process and speeding up the assembly line.
For this technology to work efficiently, the use of an autonomous micro projector (or “light engine”) should be included. They are customized to meet your light projection needs, giving optimal resolution, a range of lenses, and just the right setup to achieve throw ratios, working distances, and feature sizes for your unique automated scanning project.
Additional uses for DLP include the scanning of the facial surface in dermatology applications. Measurement of fine lines, wrinkles, and scarring is done at a very fine level. On the other end of the scale, full-body scans with 3D inspection tools can help alert physicians and medical professionals to a wide variety of illness and disorders, from bone and muscle abnormalities to malignant growths.