Making aftermarket accessories for paintball guns is a tricky design problem. For the accessory to fit precisely, exact CAD data of the original gun is needed.
The free-form shapes and irregular surfaces of paintball guns can be accurately captured by laser scanning. Because the laser scanning system projects a line of laser light onto all of a part’s surfaces while cameras continuously triangulate the changing distance and profile of the laser line, the complete area is captured digitally. Laser scanners measure articles quickly and generate huge numbers of data points.
After scanner creates point cloud of gun, a CAD model can be created.
The Laser Design Surveyor WS-3040 from GKS was used to scan the paintball gun. This automated 3D laser scanning system uses a scanning probe integrated with Wenzel’s CMM technology and includes both a Renishaw PH-10 programmable indexing head along with a rotary 4th axis stage.
With laser scanning software, part extremities are quickly scanned and required scan density is entered, up to 100,000 points/sq in. Laser scanning is ideal for reverse engineering complex parts into CAD models because the whole surface of an object is scanned, not just a limited sample of discrete points as in contact measurement. Parts can be modeled “as is” for exact replication or the original design intent can be extracted even if the as-built part is warped, misaligned, or broken.
For this project, Geomagic Studio and SolidWorks were used to create a solid model of the scan data. Geomagic Qualify Inspection software was used to compare the scan of the part to the CAD model showing discrepancies in a 3D color error map. Scan data was used to confirm accuracy of the reverse engineered model that was developed; this same data could also be used to inspect manufactured parts against the CAD model.
To reverse engineer a specialized grip, the data set of the handgrip was used. If the grip had been measured only with traditional contact measurement methods, the process would have taken several hours and yielded only several hundred data coordinates. With laser scanning, millions of coordinates from the free-form grip shapes were gathered in minutes. The total topography of the grip was completely recreated and thus, the specialized grip could be perfectly matched to the form.
Laser Design, Inc.
Filed Under: 3D CAD, Software