How High-end 3D Scanners Help Mould Making Companies

Creaform’s Go!SCAN 3D : sometimes, simpler is better!

CADMAN is a United Kingdom-based company founded in June of 1989 to supply NC cutter paths and other mould-related services to mould making companies. After a while, as well as moving more into 3D modeling and design work, the company started offering 3D digitizing and reverse modeling using a CMMs to capture points. It now offers a full range of services from initial concept design through to manufacture.

CADMAN’s founder and Managing Director, David Worland, has been using Creaform 3D scanning technologies since 2008, and was among the first ones to buy a Go!SCAN 3D white light scanner when launched at the end of 2012. Mr. Worland first saw the Creaform Handyscan 3D at a UK tradeshow approximately 7 years ago and was blown away at what he saw (on his own saying). At that time, he did not have a sufficient customer base for scanning to justify purchasing it. In 2006, he made a first incursion into 3D scanning and bought a NextEngine scanner after seeing a write-up in the MCAD magazine. By 2008, the company’s customer base had expanded enough to justify the cost of a mobile scanner. Luckily, Creaform’s authorized distributor Measurement Solutions Limited (MSL) had an ex-demo Handyscan 3D unit for sale at the time.

Creaform’s Go!SCAN 3D : sometimes, simpler is better!Best-fitting the technos to your needs

According to David, “The Handyscan 3D is a joy to use and has paid for itself many times over. As an independent sub-contract company, I have scanned everything from small caps to bottle moulds, artificial limbs to aircraft propellers, motorbike parts to parts for a vintage Bugatti. I have even scanned the complete body and tubular framework of a racing car. But as with all things it has its limitations, and there are some jobs that elude me. In a lot of these cases, customers are simply reluctant to have me place adhesive targets over their items. Sculptures are a typical example. Over the years I have quoted a number of these but as soon as they hear me say ‘I need to put some positioning targets on this’, the job is lost. Another issue is the time taken to place the targets and then removing them once the job is over.”

Consequently, David started looking for a mobile scanner that could recognize and use the shape and geometry of the object to position itself, and which could do this with a good degree of accuracy. “There are very few affordable mobile scanners on the market to choose from, and I was seriously considering buying Artec’s Eva white light scanner. It did not require positioning targets, it was cheap and also scanned in color. But it had some downsides to it, though: it captured data in snapshots which had to be stitched together afterwards, and this is very time-consuming. It could not be user-calibrated (which would eventually lead to issues with regards to the accuracy of larger parts). I did love the idea of a color scanner. This one used the color for its obvious purpose – getting 3D pictures ̵ but also used it to help positioning when parts did not have enough contrasting form for the scanner to fix its position in space in the normal way. This seemed good, but both of these uses of color were limited.”

Firstly, obtaining a color image of a large part used tremendous amount of memory and took a long time to create. Secondly, there were still some shapes that could not be scanned – even using color. A bath is a typical example: it is large, has a very smooth surface, very little contrasting form and no color change. In this case, color does not help at all.

Creaform’s Go!SCAN 3D : sometimes, simpler is better!

Artec’s Eva vs Creaform’s Go!SCAN 3D

“Notwithstanding these issues, I was about to place an order for an Eva when MSL rang me to tell me of the new Go!SCAN 3D white light scanner. After having a demo, I realized that this was the scanner that I needed, and wanted. It is very easy to use, captured points fast, it is accurate and because it has the option of using targets on those hard-to-scan parts, it was the perfect solution. It also builds the scan in real time, which I believe is the best way to scan.

Unlike Artec’s Eva, the Go!SCAN 3D requires no alignment or post-processing steps. You simply need to scan, stop and export the data! Plus, it feels a lot sturdier, and offers increased data quality than the Artec device as far as accuracy and detail definition are concerned.

I have had the Go!SCAN 3D for a while and I wanted to see how it would cope with sculptures. I have a stone statue in the garden which is approx 70-cm high and has quite a lot of details. I decided to give it a try. I cleaned off the ivy and put it on a bench in my workshop. Scanning could not have been simpler. I just pressed the button and started scanning. Within 15 minutes, I had the majority of the form scanned. I spent another 10- 15 minutes getting into those hard-to-reach areas and then I had my scan. I spent another 20 minutes filling minor holes, tidying, and refining the scan and that was it. In less than an hour, I had completed the process with no issue , no fuss. The Go!SCAN 3D’s ability to identify form, capture over 500,000 points/second and, importantly, VXelements data acquisition software’s ability to process this data in real time, is truly impressive and I look forward to using this in the future.”

Would have the Handyscan 3D done the job?

Absolutely. Mr. Worland could have easily scanned the statue with his Handyscan 3D too. Yes, it would have taken a little longer because of the positioning targets, but it would have offered increased accuracy and resolution (which would have been “overkill” in this case), and the process would have been as smooth as that of the Go!SCAN 3D.

In short, the Go!SCAN 3D and the Handyscan 3D scanners are both very accurate 3D scanners that generate reliable data, but they are two different products in the sense that the Handyscan 3D is best for applications calling for high accuracy and high resolution, while the Go!SCAN 3D is perfect for fast and simple 3D scanning.


Measurement Solutions Limited