3D Laser Scanners 376

"3D Laser Scanners” provides an overview of the components, functions, and applications of laser line scanners. A laser line scanner is a type of 3D optical measuring device used to record an object's geometry. Laser line scanners gather measurements by projecting a single or multiple laser lines onto an object while a camera captures its reflection. The scanned point data is used to construct a 3D model in real time.

3D laser line scanners are used for many applications in manufacturing, including inspection, GD&T analysis, and reverse engineering processes. After taking this class, users will be able to describe 3D laser line scanners and how they function.

Class Details

Class Name:
3D Laser Scanners 376
Difficulty:
Advanced
Number of Lessons:
14

Class Outline

  • Inspection in Manufacturing
  • Noncontact 3D Optical Scanning
  • 3D Laser Line Scanners
  • Laser Line Scanner Applications
  • Review: Laser Scanner Introduction
  • Laser Light Color
  • Laser Line Quantity
  • Laser Line Projection
  • Laser Scanner Measurement
  • Review: Laser Line Scanner Operation
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • 3D Laser Line Scanner Integration
  • 3D Scanning and Smart Manufacturing
  • Final Review

Objectives

  • Describe inspection methods used in manufacturing.
  • Distinguish between laser and structured light scanning.
  • Describe laser line scanners.
  • Describe 3D laser line scanner applications.
  • Distinguish between different laser light colors.
  • Distinguish between single-line and multiple-line scanners.
  • Distinguish between flying dot principle and solid beam principle.
  • Describe how laser scanners function.
  • Describe 3D laser line scanner data collection and analysis.
  • Describe how laser line scanners are integrated with other components.
  • Describe how 3D scanning is used in smart manufacturing.

Job Roles

Certifications

Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
3D Three-dimensional. Having or appearing to have length, breadth, and depth. 3D models show an object's shape better than two-dimensional (2D) drawings.
3D optical scanners A portable measuring device that uses light and sensors to measure an object's geometric shape. 3D optical scanners collect large amounts of surface data quickly.
3D optical scanning Capturing the geometric surface data of an object using a combination of light and sensors. 3D optical scanning collects data to be turned into digital 3D models.
6 degrees of freedom 6DoF. The possible directions of movement for an object. An object's 6 degrees of freedom include pitch, yaw, and roll and can be measured with the combination of a laser tracker and laser scanner.
additive manufacturing AM. The process of joining or solidifying materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. Additive manufacturing methods typically build up layers of material to create an object.
alignment The process of arranging components so that they are lined up and datums are established. Alignment ensures accuracy and optimal performance of automotive and aerospace machine operations.
ambient Coming from the surrounding area. Ambient lighting is light that normally occurs in the environment or space, like room lighting or natural lighting.
automated Controlled by machines or computers with little human interaction. Automated robots can use 3D laser scanners to measure parts.
batch inspection Inspecting a sample of parts to determine the quality of an entire group of parts. Batch inspection is not as precise as inspecting each individual part.
CAD Computer-aided design. A computer software program that aids in the automated design and technical precision drawing of a part, product, process, or building. CAD models can be used in part inspection.
CAD comparison The process of comparing raw scan data to a CAD file. CAD comparison shows the variations between the CAD model and the actual part.
calibrate To compare and adjust a device with unknown accuracy to a device with a known, accurate standard. Operators calibrate machines to eliminate any unwanted variation.
cameras A device used to capture still images, such as photographs, or moving images, such as videos. Cameras capture surface data when 3D scanning a part.
climate-controlled Having artificially regulated air temperature, humidity, and movement. Climate-controlled environments are not necessary for portable metrology devices.
CMM arm A portable measuring device consisting of segments connected by joints. CMM arms operate using either contact or noncontact methods.
CMMs Coordinate measuring machine. A sophisticated measuring instrument that uses a suspended probe to measure parts in three-dimensional space. A CMM operates using either contact or noncontact methods.
color map A data visualization tool that displays the differences between a scanned object and nominal CAD model using colors to represent deviations. Color maps allow designers to make adjustments to the actual part design.
computer numerical control CNC. A combination of software and hardware that directs the operation of a machine. Computer numerical control machines are used for many manufacturing operations, such as cutting and grinding metal parts.
computer-aided design CAD. A computer software program that aids in the automated design and technical precision drawing of a part, product, process, or building. Computer-aided design models can be used in part inspection.
contact probes A type of probe consisting of a synthetic ruby-tipped stylus that makes physical contact with a workpiece. A contact probe records one single point each time it touches a part's surface.
coordinate measuring machine CMM. A sophisticated measuring instrument that uses a suspended probe to measure parts in three-dimensional space. Coordinate measuring machines operate using either contact or noncontact methods.
cross scanners A portable measuring device that uses two or more intersecting laser lines to measure an object's geometric shape. Cross scanners, or multiple-line scanners, better measure complex surface features like holes.
deviations The difference between a standard and a result. Deviations can lead to parts that do not meet specifications.
diode A semiconductor device that converts energy into light. Laser diodes can range in color and strength.
end-process inspection Inspecting parts after they have been made. End-process inspection results in greater waste than in-line inspection.
field of vision The entire area that can be observed from a fixed position. The field of vision for many laser scanners is very small.
first-off Occurring before all others in a series. First-off parts are the first finished parts created by a new manufacturing setup.
fixtures A customizable, modular workholding device created by configuring locators, supports, and clamps on a body fixture. Fixtures are common workholding devices for 3D laser scanning because they allow a part to be accessible while secured in place.
flying dot principle A type of laser line projection that uses a rotating mirror to oscillate laser points on a surface, giving the illusion of a line. The flying dot principle provides a less accurate scan than the solid beam principle.
freeform Having an irregular or asymmetrical shape or design. Freeform parts are best measured by laser scanners.
geometric dimensioning and tolerancing GD&T. An international standard for communicating instructions about the design and manufacturing of parts. Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing emphasizes the function of the part.
geometry The measurement, properties, and relationships of the lines and points of an object that make up its shape. Geometry is used when measuring and designing parts.
handheld probing tool A portable contact probe consisting of a synthetic ruby-tipped stylus that an operator places on a workpiece's surface. A handheld probing tool records one single point each time it touches a part's surface.
image sensors A device that detects and conveys information used to make an image. Image sensors capture surface data when 3D scanning a part.
Industrial Internet of Things IIoT. A network of physical devices used in manufacturing that contain computing systems that allow them to send and receive data. The Industrial Internet of Things allows devices to exchange data and automate processes without any human intervention.
Industry 4.0 A stage in manufacturing that uses connected devices and digital technologies. Industry 4.0 uses automation and data exchange to achieve advancements in a variety of industries.
in-line inspection The examination of a part during the production process. In-line inspection is an efficient way to inspect parts.
in-process Currently being produced by manufacturing. In-process parts are found throughout the process of turning raw material into finished products.
inspection The examination of a part during or after its creation to confirm that it adheres to specifications. During inspection, defects may be identified and corrected.
jigs A customized workholding device used to position and hold a workpiece while guiding the location and motion of a tool. Jigs are a type of fixturing that can be used when inspecting a part.
laser A device that generates an intense beam of light that can be precisely aimed and controlled. Laser beams are used to measure and capture surface data.
laser line scanners A portable measuring device that uses one or more laser lines to measure an object's geometric shape. Laser line scanners collect large amounts of surface data quickly.
laser scanner A portable measuring device that uses a beam of light to measure an object's geometric shape. Laser scanners collect large amounts of surface data quickly.
laser scanning Capturing the geometric surface data of an object using a combination of laser light and sensors. Laser scanning can be done manually or automated.
laser trackers A portable measuring device that projects a beam of light at a retroreflective target to measure large objects. Laser trackers can pair with laser scanners for more robust measuring.
LED Light emitting diode. A semiconductor device that emits a narrow spectrum of light in a forward direction. Structured light scanners use LEDs to produce light patterns.
legacy Relating to a previous technology. Legacy models are typically archived or obsolete.
line generator A device that converts a solid laser beam into a laser line. A line generator creates a more consistent laser line than the mirrors used with the flying dot principle.
margin of error An acceptable amount of deviation from a standard or specification. Metrology tools must have a small margin of error to ensure accurate part measurement.
metrology The science of measurement. Metrology strives for accuracy, precision, and repeatability.
multiple-line scanners A portable measuring device that uses two or more intersecting laser lines to measure an object's geometric shape. Multiple-line scanners, or cross scanners, better measure complex surface features like holes.
noise Unwanted surface data caused by light interference. Noise affects the accuracy of data collection.
nominal A stated measurement that may not correlate exactly with a physical part. Nominal measurements for a part indicate the size specified in the print or CAD model, which may differ from the size of the actual part.
noncontact Not physically touching a workpiece's surface. Noncontact measurement is necessary for fragile or flexible parts.
noncontact probes A type of probe that consists of a laser or scanning system that does not physically contact the part surface. Noncontact probes are used to streamline surface inspection.
on-machine Relating to or being on a machine. On-machine parts can easily be measured with portable metrology devices.
optical system A light-based arrangement of lenses and mirrors used for imaging. Optical systems determine the frame rate and resolution at which the data is captured.
oscillate The movement back and forth from side to side. A laser oscillates to create a line with the flying dot principle.
point cloud A large collection of data points of a three-dimensional object. Point clouds are typically used to create computer-aided design (CAD) models of objects.
polygon mesh model A collection of vertices, edges, and faces that defines the shape of an object in 3D space. A polygon mesh model lacks precise surface details.
polygon mesh models A collection of vertices, edges, and faces that defines the shape of an object in three-dimensional space. A polygon mesh model lacks precise surface details.
polygons A two-dimensional figure with at least three straight sides and angles. Polygons are used to make basic 3D models of objects.
process control An approach to manufacturing that attempts to closely monitor and control all aspects of the process. Process control methods include collecting and analyzing data to help reduce errors.
projector A device that creates a ray of light. A laser projector sends the laser light through a lens to be projected on an object.
prototypes A preliminary model of a part or a machine used to evaluate the look and performance of a design. Prototypes are used to determine the specifications for the final part.
quality report A document of measurement data used for inspection. Quality reports provide the information needed to determine the dimensional accuracy of parts.
resolution The amount of pixels and detail in an image. High-resolution images have better details than lower-resolution images.
reverse engineering A process that captures geometric data of an existing object to convert it to a three-dimensional (3D) computer-aided design (CAD) model. Reverse engineering can be used to create a reproduction based on a part's composition.
robots A machine that automatically performs complicated and repetitive tasks. Robots often perform work that is more precise and consistent than work performed by humans.
rotary encoders A device that translates angular position or motion into a digital signal. Rotary encoders in the joints of a CMM arm detect the incremental lines on a scale to determine positioning.
sensors A device that detects the presence or absence of an object, or certain properties of that object, and provides feedback. Laser scanner 6DoF sensors detect the position of the scanner in space.
single-line scanners A portable measuring device that uses one laser line to measure an object's geometric shape. Single-line scanners produce a high-definition beam for scanning parts.
smart manufacturing Technologically integrated manufacturing that creates and uses data in real time to address the needs of the factory, supplier, and customer. Smart manufacturing is an advancement of traditional manufacturing automation.
solid beam principle A type of laser line projection that uses a line generator to convert a laser beam into a line that scans a surface. The solid beam principle provides a more accurate scan than the flying dot principle.
stand-offs The distance from the scanner to the scan area of a part. Stand-off determines how close or far away from a part an operator can use the scanner.
stationary CMMs A coordinate measuring machine that is not portable. A stationary CMM has a large base with a suspended probe and is operated in a controlled environment.
STL A file format type used for making 3D polygon mesh models that provide the surface geometry of an object. STL files are used in rapid prototyping and reverse engineering.
structured light scanners A portable measuring device that projects a pattern of light on an object and scans an image of it to record three-dimensional surface measurements. Structured light scanners may take several scans before gathering all the dimensional data.
structured light scanning Capturing the geometric surface data of an object using a measuring device that projects a pattern of light on an object and scans an image. Structured light scanning covers a large surface area with each individual scan.
three-dimensional 3D. Having or appearing to have length, breadth, and depth. Three-dimensional models show an object's shape better than two-dimensional (2D) drawings.
tolerances An unwanted but acceptable variation or deviation from a desired dimension. A part within tolerances will meet specifications and pass inspection.
triangulation The process of determining the location of a point by forming triangles from the laser projector to a known point and from the known point to the camera. Triangulation is the main process used for capturing data with 3D scanners.
validation A process of ensuring that a product, part, or system meets the operational needs of its user. Final parts require validation before they can be sent to a customer.
verification A process of visually checking that a product, part, or system meets design specifications. Verification during part inspection is critical in manufacturing.
verify To visually check that a product, part, or system meets design specifications. Inspectors verify machine components for proper assembly.
voids Absent surface data caused by holes, spaces, or unscannable surface characteristics in a part. Voids affect the accuracy of data collection.
wavelengths The length of a light wave. Wavelengths determine the color and visibility of the light.