Suppose you have a part with no documentation, or you need to scale a complex piece of sculpture, or create a replacement part for an old out of production item. However, the part is very complex and difficult to measure. These are a few of the perfect applications for laser scanning.
Metropolis offers non-contact laser scanning with our Minolta 910i scanner. This device will record 307,200 data points in just a few seconds. complex objects can be scanned from any available angle and successive scans joined together to form a complete detailed file of the surface geometry of the part.
Once the part is scanned and the data collated we have tens of thousands of data points forming a “point cloud”. Point clouds have no other characteristics other than being a group of unrelated points in space. Therefore, the point cloud has limited utility. Next, the point cloud is converted to a polygonal model by the computer. This is a file type wherein the point cloud data points are connected one to another to form triangles and polygons. These are filled to create a surface. The resulting polygonal (STL) file is perfect for reproducing the model utilizing any of our rapid prototyping machines. This polygonal file generally does not provide enough information for CNC machining to be performed on the file; if this is necessary we can use the polygonal file as a basis for surface modeling. This step is very detail intensive and time consuming, depending on the level of detail and precision required. Once the surface model is complete, all standard manufacturing can be performed from the file.