With the changing world of additive manufacturing, the ways we can approach a project have significantly increased compared to traditional manufacturing methods. By moving away from manufacturing constraints, we can combine features together, reduce part numbers, and simplify features from needing certain aspects to accommodate the manufacturing needs. The term Design for Additive Manufacturing, or DFAM, is used for parts designed to be 3D printed vs. machined or molded.
Articles by Matthew Fisher
The product development cycle has been changing dramatically due to additive manufacturing. From gathering measurements, designing optimal parts, and rapidly creating parts for testing; additive and traditional design tools are complimenting each other to make going from idea to physical quicker than ever before.
To discuss how these changes are improving design cycles, we developed a case study that uses a combination of additive technology and CAD software to create and modify an aftermarket clip to attach to a truck bed. Two of Hawk Ridge Systems engineers discuss which tools were used and thought process that went into the development of the case study, knowing different technologies will be used.
Aside from their ability to capture complex geometry without any targets, one of the greatest features of handheld Artec 3D scanners is their ability to simultaneously capture color.
Sometimes refered to as texture, color is incredibly important to create lifelike renders and identify key locations on parts. Normally, texture has to be captured seperately and then projected onto a mesh – a time-consuming process and impossible if any part of the object moves between the two different captures. Since the handheld scanners capture both geometry and texture at the same time, there isn’t any issue matching the color to the exact position it should be.
Certain objects that you scan may have issues being scanned, including clear and shiny objects, or certain black colors such as carbon fiber. This is due to the capture camera failing to identify faces (in the case of clear objects) or reflects; making the scan noisy for shiny or black objects.
To correct this common 3D scanner issue, the object needs a coating to add opaqueness to cover the difficult areas to scan. Tape can be used in a pinch, but you may compromise the geometry of the object.
Handheld scanners convert millions of points of data to millions of polygons – taking up computer resources and disk space. If you work with 3D scanners, you already know that file size and processing data are the biggest limits of the technology.
By understanding how different scanners capture and process data, we can find ways to work around these limitations and optimize our scanning and processing times. This can be done in the raw data or final mesh depending on the end-goal of the project. Some software for example will let you combine different mesh and point cloud data together to increase accuracy and resolution. Others you can edit the mesh itself to show two different resolutions, increasing the polygon count in areas of interested while decreasing on simpler surfaces.