Laser scanning is a technique used to create a 3d model of the object being scanned. By utilizing a focused, in-phase laser beam a much more accurate representation can be made of the object than if ordinary physical measurement tools were used. Another big advantage to laser scanning is speed. Laser scanning is actually faster than scanning using mechanical means. After all, the amount of moving parts is minimized and, since the laser scanning equipment never contacts the object being scanned physically it reduced the overall amount of movement needed for the scanning job to complete.
Laser scanning is used in a variety of different manufacturing and engineering related functions. One of the most prominent ones is reverse engineering. When needing to obtain the proper measurements for manufacture of a part for whom neither CAD nor blueprint data is available, laser scanning is used. The laser scanning equipment is able to accurately generate a very precise informational 3D representation of the part being scanned which allows the manufacturing team to reproduce the object. While physical measurement may be able to match the scanning precision needed in such cases the speed tradeoff is undesirable. After all, laser scanning results in the most precise measurement in the smallest amount of time.
Another use of laser scanning is on a high speed assembly line. In a manufacturing environment in which a large amount of parts need to be scanned to check for accurate manufacture, laser scanning is the most attractive method of determining if the manufactured parts meet a predetermined specification. This allows for a much higher quality control in the manufacturing process.
All in all, laser scanning equipment provides a valuable asset to any manufacturing operation. Whether utilized in a reverse engineering role or in a quality inspection form laser scanning equipment helps speed up operation while increasing the quality of scanning analysis. Coupled with the proper computing equipment the laser scanning equipment can be used to generate and analyze CAD data on the fly. This is a great benefit to any manufacturing and/or engineering operation that needs to utilize 3d scanning tools.
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