Blister packs and other thermoformed parts often present design challenges with their numerous
complex shapes, blends, and radii. Team Technologies, a leading manufacturer in dental, medical, cosmetic, and industrial products, had two thermoformed blister packs. The design team needed to manufacture these parts but had no way of creating the molds.
The team contracted 3DScanCo, an engineering company that specializes in 3D scanning for use in reverse engineering, quality inspection, and CAD modeling, to create a new CAD model of the existing blister pack. 3DScanCo used the Konica-Minolta Vivid 9i to optically digitize the existing blister pack.
It can be difficult to create molds for thermoformed parts because of all the numerous complex shapes, blends, and radii. 3D scanning, however, offers a faster way to gather the necessary data for a mold.
Working with 3DScanCo, the engineers were able to scan in the needed information using the Konica-Minolta Vivid 9i to optically digitize the existing blister pack. The entire process took ten days rather than a couple of weeks.
3D scanning is a fast and accurate method of entering an object‚â€™s physical measurements into a computer in an organized manner. The scan data are often used as a bridge between physical objects and manufacturing. Typically, the scan data are represented with a scale digital model or a 3D graphical rendering. Once the scan data are on the computer, all of the dimensions of the physical object can be taken, including length, width, height, volume, feature size, feature location, and surface area.
For the design team at Team Technologies, the raw scan data was processed, merged, cleaned, aligned, and eventually used to create an accurate CAD model of the physical part. For this project the 3D Scan data was used as a modeling guide and a variety of surfacing and modeling techniques captured the as-built condition of the object.
Team Technologies, a manufacturer of dental, medical, cosmetic, and industrial products, had two thermoformed blister pack models that needed molds.
3DScanCo‚â€™s scanning services provided the design team with exactly what they needed – an accurate CAD model of their existing part. They then used the CAD model to manufacture more blister packs.
From start to finish this project took ten business days. Without scanning the parts the process could have taken weeks. Plus, the scan helped the team achieve an accurate model on the first try. Often in thermoforming applications engineers must run several revisions of tooling and part fit tests to find the optimal CAD model. By 3D scanning the physical object, the new blister pack was an exact match on the first try.
A look at 3D scanners
In general, a device that captures 3D information is referred to as a 3D scanner. There are different methods for capturing the three-dimensional measurements of a physical part and thus, different types of scanners:
3D Laser Scanning or Scanners can generally be placed into three main categories depending on how they capture data ‚â€” laser triangulation, time of flight, and phase shift. These scanning techniques are typically used independently but can also be used in combination to create a more versatile scanning system. There are other laser scanning technologies that are hybrids or
combinations of 3D scanning technologies, such as accordion fringe interferometry or conoscopic holography.
In laser triangulation, a laser line or point is projected onto an object and captures its reflection with a sensor located at a known distance from the laser‚â€™s source. The resulting reflection angle can be interpreted to yield 3D measurements of the part.
Time of flight laser scanners emit a pulse of laser light that is reflected off of the scanned object. The resulting reflection is detected with a sensor and the time that elapses between emission and detection yields the distance to the object since the speed of the laser light is precisely known.
Phase shift laser scanners work by comparing the phase shift in the reflected laser light to a standard phase, which is also captured for comparison. This is similar to time of flight detection except that the phase of the reflected laser light further refines the distance detection, similar to the vernier scale on a caliper.
:: Design World ::
Filed Under: 3D CAD, Software