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parts, preventing situations of nonworking parts, customer dissatisfaction and even potential recalls of products.


Mapping the Future Metrology packages for 3D scanning and point-cloud- based inspection are gaining in popularity, as manufacturers look to take advantage of CAD model data for improving manufacturing processes. “We all do it the same way. The process is scan your point cloud, align and best fi t your scan data to a CAD model, and then analyze those points to the CAD model and create a report,” said Verisurf’s Olson. “The color map you create shows deviations from the CAD nomi- nal, comparing to an ideal state.”


Most developers of 3D scanning equipment offer their own software, but an advantage of using a third-party pack- age like Verisurf is that it interfaces to all brands and models of 3D scanners, Olson said. With the new one-click analysis of the “Do It” button in X9, Olson said users get fast, easy alignment and analysis of


complex point-cloud data. But manufacturers need to consider several issues before adopting 3D scanning, he added, as the scanning process generates extremely large data sets with millions of scanned points, the scanners themselves cost about $20,000, and users sometimes can be better served employ- ing single-point measurement solutions for their applications.


“We’ve automated the entire point-cloud analysis and reporting process.”


“The world hasn’t fully embraced scanning,” Olson said.


“There are industries that are reluctant to accept scanned data. The aerospace industry is very careful.” Deciding whether to use point-cloud data really depends on the manufacturer’s end goal, said Hexagon’s Wissner. “Will you use that massive amount of data to reverse- engineer something or check for defects? On the other hand,


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June 2016 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 79


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