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Reverse engineering and scanners  

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vek
 vek
(@vek)
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Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 7
2020-05-13 9:37 am  

Just wondered if anybody is or has used a scanner for reverse engineering.  I would like to buy a scanner which is reliable and easy to use but not too expensive.

I would use it for 3D printing and importing into Solidworks for modifications.

I know XYZ have a one for about £200 .  Also I have just read an article saying you can use an IPAD.

Any help will be appreciated.


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Macoofer
(@macoofer)
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Posts: 20
2020-05-13 10:16 am  

3D Scanning is a bit of a trade-off world. The scanner you wish to buy very much depends on the type of objects you want to scan, what you want to do with the scans and last but not least, how much money you are willing to spend to enhance or widen the former two factors.

Lower budget scanners, usually have a lower resolution and might not be as accurate when it comes down to smaller corners and faces you wish to replicate, especially when you eg want to scan objects with specific measures (say brackets that hold servos)

Also bear in mind that most of the lower end scanners will probably not be able to get all the surfaces or cavities correct, meaning in order to get an accurate duplicate, you have to invest quite a lot of time after the scan to "fix" these spots, before you can actually use it.

 

To sum this up: the first hint into the direction of the scanner you would like, comes from the specific choice of what you want to do with the scans.

 

If, for example, the scanning --> 3D printing is used in more of a "duplicating decorative items"-way, these high resolution and accuracy shortcomings might not be so important.

I suggest you check out some detailed youtube or such reviews on various of these low-end 3D scanners, so you can see what kind of tests people have done with them and what the results are. (not a promo-video, but actual testing videos)

 

Here is a link to some variety of "low-cost" 3D printers around atm: 

https://www.3dnatives.com/en/top-10-low-cost-3d-scanners280320174/

 

You can check some of those out and find detailed testing videos on each of them.

 

Last but not least: Bear in mind that 3D scanners on the market go anywhere from around $ 200  upto $ 35,000 (with their specs and capabilities accordingly). so don't expect any miracles from a $ 200 version 😉 

 

Hope this helps a bit in your search.

 

Mac


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vek
 vek
(@vek)
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Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 7
2020-05-13 10:34 am  

Thank you for your reply Mac , really appreciated.  Maybe someone on the forum can recommend a scanner!!

I will do some research and hopefully find a decent scanner to use.

Vek


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Macoofer
(@macoofer)
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2020-05-13 10:44 am  

@vek Anytime!

 

If you could perhaps give a more detailed description of what it is you would like to do with the scanner, I could help you point into a direction of a more specific choice of scanner. (I've played around with a few and each of them have their own set of upsides and downsides)

 

Mac


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vek
 vek
(@vek)
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Posts: 7
2020-05-13 12:22 pm  

I would use it for scanning and then 3D printing existing parts/ components which do not have technical drawing details etc. Also I would like to import scans into Solidworks for improvements and modifications.

hope this helps

vek

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by vek

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Macoofer
(@macoofer)
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2020-05-13 1:22 pm  
Posted by: @vek

I would use it for scanning and then 3D printing existing parts/ components which do not have technical drawing details etc. Also I would like to import scans into Solidworks for improvements and modifications.

hope this helps

vek

So if I am reading this right, you are more interested in an accurate shape scan, rather then an accurate half a millimeter precise spec-sheet scan.  (eg: you want a detailed copy of a M6x80mm bolt, yet don't expect the bolt to actually have a perfect fit in a corresponding M6 Nut)

Or is that exactly what you would like, due to the fact that you are missing those exact details on the item and would like to have them derived in solidworks from your scans?

 

Mac


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vek
 vek
(@vek)
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Posts: 7
2020-05-13 9:03 pm  

An accurate shape scan would be okay but it would be good to be able to have a working M6 thread .  However I could redo the thread in solidworks if required.

 

vek


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Macoofer
(@macoofer)
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2020-05-15 6:26 pm  

Back from a few days of work.

 

The 3D handheld budget scanner from XYZ printing is most likely not going to cut it for you, as most other 3D scanners that are in the bottom lower end of budget. A few reasons:

 

Their scan resolution is usually 1-2mm in optimal conditions, although this may seem decent, when it comes down to actual accurate models that have fine structures, you will find that it will "flatten" a lot of the complex surfaces.

Another issue with these lower budget scanners (especially the handheld 3D scanner from XYZ)  is that they have huge difficulties with metal surfaces and the color black. They simply cannot get a proper lock on the item and will either scan nothing, the surrounding environment, or create relatively large cut-offs.

I found a good example video of these flaws, it is in German, but I think the footage speaks for itself.

 

 

The Cyclop 3D  DIY kit scanner is in the same pricerange, even a bit cheaper, but deals with the same issues.

 

The Makerbot digitizer does a much better job, but comes at an also much steeper price, around $ 1,400

 

To get rid of these issues entirely, you have to seriously up your budget ($ 2,000 and up)

Other scanner in the $ 400 - $ 1,000 range will do a much better job then the XYZ, Cyclop and various other DIY scanners, but are therefore also a minimum of twice the price and way over that.

 

Here is another video of scanners that will do the job, but are all in the thousand to several thousand dollar range:

 

Conclusion:

 

Unfortunately, I don't think you are going to find a scanner that will do what you want with it for the budget you have in mind. Upto around $ 600 scanners are "toys for adults" they are fun to play with, but cannot be used for accurate models of every material, due to their lighting issues and inability to capture certain shiny surfaces and metals.


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vek
 vek
(@vek)
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Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 7
2020-05-16 10:31 pm  

Thank you for your comprehensive reply it is much appreciated.  I will do more research and decide whether it is wort purchasing a personal scanner. You are correct about the poor ability of cheaper scanners and in my opinion it is pointless getting one if it is not fit for purpose.  

Maybe I could try and get a recommendation from someone who is using a scanner, or purchase a good second hand scanner from a company who are upgrading.

 


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