5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 11, 2013 1:14 PM by 1-4EQZK9

    scan to 3d

    Gary Reif


      we just bought a laser scan and was wondering if the scan to 3d is a good and powerful product or if there are better options out there to use. we are a machine shop so it will be used for reverse engineering parts.




        • Re: scan to 3d
          Kevin Quigley

          We bought a NextEngine scanner 5 or 6 years ago with the idea we could scan and surface easily. After 1 job we realised this is not the case. My advice is use your point cloud as a 3D underlay for surfacing work, or directly overlay multiple scans to compare geometry. In the end we chose not to upgrade to Premium to get Scan to 3D. We bought Rhino instead. Gives far better point cloud handling and a ton of other abilities as well.

          • Re: scan to 3d
            Brandon Roby

            We do a lot of reverse engineering of products mixing SolidWorks ScanTo3d and the NextEngine scanner at Whole Hog. Depending on the type of items that you are attempting to reverse engineer, these two tools can be a powerful mix, but you certainly need to go about the task systematically.


            An important thing to remember with laser scanning is that the translation to CAD is interpretive. While a HD scanner can create a ton of data, it also can put us designers / engineers into a glass box that we become trapped within.


            If you are working on reverse engineering parts that could be considered "artistic" in design (i.e. they are not constructed in a symmetric nature) then I would also suggest looking at using a tool such as RapidWorks to handle interpretation of the scan data. SolidWorks ScanTo3d does a similar thing, but it takes the scan data at face value. The wizard tools can often make the transition to a real SolidWorks 3d model frustrating for the user.


            Also remember that the quality of your scan is very important in the quality of the model that you ultimately generate with SolidWorks. If you are new to the laser scan --> SolidWorks model methodology, start with simple shapes and work up from there. If there were simple solutions to the problem of reverse engineering, many of us would be out of a job. RE is an art that takes a lot of experience and practice. 


            If you need any help getting over some of the learning curve 'bumps' with ScanTo3d, give us a shout and we are happy to help. We have some quick assistance tools and resources with our SolidWorks SWAT team that might make your reverse engineering process more rewarding. 

            • Re: scan to 3d
              Kevin Abrahamson

              What system did you purchase and now that it is December how is it going? I'm looking at purchasing a system.