Lead Forensics

Can 3D Scanners Replace CMM Machines? – The Benefits Scanners Can Provide

Oct 9, 2023 | 3D Scanning, Manufacturing, News, Quality & Inspection

3D scanning has emerged as a superior alternative to traditional Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) and tactile measurement systems in various industries due to its numerous benefits.

Here are some of the key advantages of 3D scanning over traditional methods:

Full Surface Data Capture: One of the primary advantages of 3D scanning is its ability to capture full-field data, covering the entire surface of a component. This comprehensive data provides a detailed inspection and analysis of the entire part, offering a more complete picture of its geometry.

Detailed Information: Compared to traditional single-point tactile measurements, 3D scanning provides far more detailed information about the object being measured. This detailed data can be presented in a simple and easy-to-understand format, making it more accessible for analysis and decision-making.

Flexibility and Portability: 3D scanning eliminates or significantly reduces the need for fixtures to hold the part in place during measurement. This increased flexibility and portability mean that the scanning system can be brought to the part, making it suitable for measuring components in situ, without the need for transporting them to a fixed measurement device.

Complex Surface Deviation Analysis: 3D scanning data can be used to create detailed reports that highlight deviations of complex freeform surfaces, geometric elements, and GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing) features against the CAD nominal or a master sample. This level of analysis is often challenging with traditional methods.

Use Across Multiple Industries: 3D scanning systems are now widely adopted across various industries, including Automotive and Aerospace. These industries demand high accuracy and quality standards, and 3D scanning meets their requirements effectively.

Industry 4.0 Integration: In the context of Industry 4.0, where automation and data-driven processes are key, 3D scanning provides comprehensive data capture. This data can be integrated into manufacturing and assembly processes, aiding in virtual assembly simulations and contributing to the development of “factories of the future.”

Quality Assurance and Risk Reduction: The ability to obtain full-field measurement data ensures consistent quality and repeatability across components, reducing the risk of failures. This is particularly important as industries strive to achieve Six Sigma levels of quality.

Supply Chain Integration: As the need for full-field data becomes more critical, 3D scanning is likely to cascade down the supply chain. Manufacturers and suppliers will use 3D scanning to ensure that consistent quality standards are met at all stages of production, leading to more efficient and reliable supply chains.

In summary, 3D scanning offers a wide range of benefits over traditional CMM and tactile measurement systems, including comprehensive data capture, flexibility, portability, and the ability to support advanced manufacturing processes. As industries evolve toward greater automation and precision, 3D scanning is becoming an indispensable tool for quality control and process optimisation.

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The PES Scanning blog provides information and news on the scanning and engineering services we offer. The blog also includes views from our team and information about projects we’ve been working on.