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3D Scanners for Inspection and Quality Assurance

By <a href="https://mfg.trimech.com/author/brian-metzger/" target="_self">Brian Metzger</a>

By Brian Metzger

Posted on May 23, 2023

In the past 10 years, the world of 3D scanning has grown to include many new and exciting applications.  Scanning hardware has become more accurate, portable, and affordable.  We at TriMech, love to find new opportunities to introduce new tools to businesses that might never have considered them in the past. In this blog we will look at different inspection ready features and what inspection 3D scanners are available. 

Among all the use cases for 3D scanning, the geometric inspection of manufactured parts has always been a major use case.  A 3D scan can characterize complex geometry very quickly, and software tools can easily automate the calculation of Geometric Dimensions and Tolerances (GD&T) as well as reporting.

Inspection Ready Features

But how do we choose the best tools for the job?  We have found that the following factors are the most important…

Scale: 3D scanners are all built to capture a specific range of part sizes.  The Artec Leo can scan a motorcycle in minutes.  But if the parts you need scanned are only a few inches across, then an Artec Space Spider would be a more appropriate tool.

Accuracy: Any QA/QC procedure will call out tolerances that each measurement must fall within.  Likewise, each 3D scanner is tested to measure geometry with a specific accuracy.  It’s critical that the measurement tool can guarantee the confidence that the job demands.

3D Inspection Scanner: GOM Scan 1

For example, the Artec Space Spider can scan small parts (6-9 inches) with an accuracy of +/- 50 micron (roughly 0.002”).  This may be good for some applications, but injection molded parts can often demand measurements with a confidence of +/- 20 micron. For these tasks, a tool like the GOM ATOS Q may be much more appropriate.

Automation: Handheld scanners like the GOM T-Scan Hawk 2 are very dynamic.  In other words, they can be deployed for a very wide variety of tasks.  The T-Scan Hawk 2 can be used to scan small handheld parts or an entire car. 

In the QA/QC world, sometimes a desktop scanner might be more desirable.  For instance, the GOM Scan 1 is a tool that can scan a small part with minimal human interaction.  The user simply needs to place the part on the motorized turntable, and the system can reproduce the same measurements with minimal human interaction.  If a business needs to inspect large batches of parts cut from the same design, this automated approach might be preferable.

With all this in mind, let’s look at some 3D scanning systems with the potential to revolutionize with your inspection process…

3D Scanners for Inspection

GOM ATOS Q

GOM ATOS Q: If a problem demands the absolute gold standard of Accuracy, Resolution, and Speed, then the GOM ATOS Q is the best choice.  Scanning parts can be fully automated.  With the integration of GOM Inspect Professional software, the measurement and reporting can be fully automated as well. 

One of the most interesting features of the ATOS Q is the ability for users to change measuring volumes by swapping lenses.  By unscrewing the three lenses on the front of the unit, the ATOS Q can be recalibrated from scanning a car key to an engine block in the same day.

GOM Scan 1

GOM Scan 1: Featuring the same core technology as the ATOS Q and a lower price point, the GOM Scan 1 is a perfect “Little Brother” system for organizations looking to get started in 3D scanning for inspection.  The GOM Scan 1’s process is fully automated, and it can still boast accuracies of +/- 0.001” or better. 

Artec Leo

Artec Leo: While the GOM products boast the highest accuracy specifications, some jobs demand the incredible portability of the Artec Leo.  With an onboard touchscreen, CPU, and battery, the Leo can be deployed in the field on a moment’s notice to check dimensions in areas that are otherwise difficult to access. 

We hope this information will help you consider 3D scanning for inspection in your manufacturing process.  However, we should note that you are not alone in navigating these tools.  If you are interested, please reach out to TriMech Solutions so that our technical expertise can aid you in finding the right fit for your business.

<h4>Written by <a href="https://mfg.trimech.com/author/brian-metzger/" target="_self">Brian Metzger</a></h4>

Written by Brian Metzger

Brian Metzger has been an Application Engineer with TriMech since 2013. He received his CSWP in 2013 and became an Elite AE in 2015. He is the Technical Lead on 3D scanning and is an expert with simulation products.