The 3D scanning industry has seen incredible changes over recent years, particularly in terms of the technology available. It is not long ago that scanning was seen as a specialist application, with equipment costing hundreds of thousands and requiring highly-skilled technicians to acquire any kind of usable data. In recent years, we have seen the advent of handheld scanning devices, primarily instigated by the introduction of the Handyscan3D in 2006, and lower accuracy scanners with low resolution becoming available for as little as £10,000.
Throughout all of this, white light (or fringe projection) scanners have always been recognised as offering the highest accuracy and speed for scanning, yet they have remained out of the reach of most people both in terms of cost and ease-of-use. Having introduced many new innovations to the UK market, including the Handyscan3D and HandyProbe portable CMM, Measurement Solutions of Peterborough will once again release another new innovation in white light scanning to the market at the MACH Show in April 2012.
The SIDIO range of scanners has been developed by the Spanish company, Nub3D. Established in 1999, Nub3D was a spin-off company following research projects at the University of Barcelona into optical 3D scanning technologies. Working in close collaboration with the University's technological centres and major Spanish industrial companies, Nub3D have continuously invested in R&D to develop efficient systems for 3D measurement. The first SIDIO products were launched over 10 years ago, and have been enhanced and improved over the last decade to include general scanning solutions plus "in-line" automated scanning for production lines.
A white light scanner is an optical measuring system that is capable of very quickly acquiring a high density and highly accurate 3D point cloud that represents the precise physical shape and form of any 3D object. The system operates by projecting a fringe pattern onto the object's surface, which is then captured as a series of images using the latest digital camera technology. The distortion of the pattern across the surface enables the analysis software to generate XYZ coordinates of points on the surface as a high definition point cloud.
While laser scanners have been the "bread and butter" systems for surface scanning, Nub3D white light scanners offer a significant technological evolution. They capture far more information in a single shot, as the system scans an area of the surface, and not just a single scan-line. The high speed data capture of Nub3D scanners enables an area containing up to 1.4 million points with a resolution of less than 0.1mm to be captured in under half a second. The system can also be automated by integrating a motorised turntable so that a part can be scanned from all directions.
One downside of white light technologies has always been the fact that in order to scan large objects, the user must apply targets to the object and perform photogrammetric triangulation of the targets using additional equipment, in order to create a reference frame for the underlying scan data. While this is still possible with the SIDIO solutions, the user also has the option of using MML Technology, unique to Nub3D scanning systems. The MML system creates optical reference marks on the surface of the object without the need for sticky targets and additional photogrammetry, so that adjacent scanned data sets can be automatically merged together without the need for laborious post-processing.
The system also provides the user with a visual aid to understand where scan data needs to be taken to ensure good area coverage. This solution drastically increases the speed of scanning compared to any other scanning solution.
The range of scanners includes an entry-level SIDIO system that provides high accuracy white light scanning for as little as £35,000. The SIDIO XR range is a high performance scanner that can scan in under half a second and includes sensor monitoring to avoid any influence on the measurement results caused by temperature and vibration. The SIDIO XR also has configurable measuring volumes without the need to change lenses, plus an automated calibration system to ensure accurate measurements at all times.
Data generated by Nub3D scanners can be used for a multitude of applications, with direct compatibility with leading software and analysis tools such as the latest Metrolog X4 for component inspection and Geomagic Studio for reverse engineering. The SIDIO system is suitable for scanning all types of objects including machined parts, castings, sheet metal, press tools and moulds, plastic injection mouldings, with applications in all types of markets including aerospace, automotive, heritage and museums, component design, etc.
Measurement Solutions will be demonstrating the all-new Nub3D SIDIO XR system on their booth at MACH in April 2012. The booth will also include a full range of laser scanning systems, plus portable 3D CMM systems.