When engineers at 3Mâ€šÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Occupational Health and Environmental Safety division started designing a new face shield for welders, they realized they needed to improve aesthetics and needed new CAD data to revise the model. Trial and error methods were not an option. Instead, 3M engineers sent a picture of the clay shield mock-up to GKS Inspection Services, a laser scanning service bureau.
3M engineers outsourced a picture of a clay model of a face shield to a service bureau where laser scanning techniques eliminated traditional CAD iterations.
Laser scanning projects a line of laser light onto surfaces while cameras continuously triangulate the changing distance and profile of the laser line as it sweeps along. The problem of missing data on an irregularly shaped surface is eliminated. The laser measures fine details and captures complex free form geometry so that the object can be exactly replicated.
3M received the complete scan data and CAD model of the redesigned face shield in a few hours. From there, engineers could finalize the design in 3D CAD to be used to cut the molds for the finished product. Using this laser scanning process, 3M estimates it saved between $3000-$5000 in CAD modeling time. Within two days, 3M created a rapid prototype of the shield.
GKS Inspection Services
Filed Under: 3D CAD, Digital manufacturing, Lasers