24 Replies Latest reply on Dec 6, 2008 11:04 PM by Mike Wilson

    NextEngine Laser Scanner

    Devon Sowell
      Is anyone using it? If so, do you have any feedback?

      If you're not using it, why not?

      • Reply
        • NextEngine Laser Scanner
          Rich Osterreicher
          I have one,
          It works ok for creating a general reference of something that'shard to measure..But it does not create "Working"accurate models.
          And shiny objects are harder than heck to scan, Especially ShinyBlack..
          You ahve to powder them with talc, which gets picked up in thescan, which it then makes the surfaces bumpy instead of smooth.
          It's a huge memory hog too. It regularly runs up in the 2+gb ramuse when in use.
          I guess it all depends on what you want to do/use it for.. Whatparts your scanning, what you want to do with the results, etc. ifyou want accurate working models from it, you'll be verydissapointed..If your just looking for a fairly closerepresentation of something, it's ok..

          Hope that helps..

            • NextEngine Laser Scanner
              Devon Sowell
              Hello Rich-

              Thanks for the response.

              My first reaction is; very disappointing. NextEngine claims ±.005" in Macro mode, ±.015" in the larger mode. Is this true?

              Another concern is cost. Is SolidWorks Office Premium required? If so, then to purchase and upgrade from SolidWorks Office Professional = $6,200.00 (software upgrade plus machine cost).

              I'm also hosting a discussion about the NextEngine Laser Scanner on my Blog;

                • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                  Rich Osterreicher
                  Hi Devon,
                  As far as the accuracy claims go, It could mind you"Could" be that accurate.
                  As with anything, The "Accuracy" of it depends on theuser..
                  It just makes an image of what it sees. It does NOT take intoaccount the distance the object is away. Ex: An object 6" awaywill look say Ø1" round.. The Same object placed 12" awaywill look .25" around.. So it depends on You the user tomeasure some feature on it.. then after all is done, scale themodel so that same feature measures right..
                  This all does not even get into the whole issue of Alignments ofthe scans.. It does Not simply scan the model while rotating it. it takes a scan and then the turntable indexes.. Then takesanother scan..  Well, when it's all done You the user mustmanually align 2 of the scans by hand.. Then the rest will gotogether..
                  But if you do not get the Manual align perfect, the rest isgoofed.. Don't get me wrong, it is really cool... But if yourlooking to scan something and get a model with straight cylindricalwalls, flat surfaces.. you will NOT get those results..
                  But as i say, accuracy all depends on How well you measure afeature, and scale the results.. Though Now they have (3) sepearateprograms.. A cheap core Scan Studio
                  which only outputs Stl.. (it's included) The Pro, wich outputsnurbs mesh (And costs .$1000 on top of the scanner cost) and alsothere is the  Rapidworks version.. Which Does in fact build SWfeature tree, etc.. (It's also $2500 extra on top of the $3500for the scanner).. And for any of the software you must also haveSW Office Premium.
                  It's a great tool, as long as your not really looking for a highlydetailed working model of something.. if you just want a"representation" of something, like for an animation,,or?? Marketing, etc.. it's good.. But if you are thinking ofmanufacturing a part based strictly on a scan, you'll be wasting alot of money.
                  Just all depends on what you want to do with it..

                    • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                      Devon Sowell

                      RE:"But if you are thinking of manufacturing a part based strictly on a scan, you'll be wasting a lot of money."

                      This would be my only reason to purchase the scanner. "Representations" I can make myself using SolidWorks.

                      Thanks again for the detailed information.

                      Any others?
                        • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                          Rich Osterreicher
                          Well, i have some New info about the Scanner..
                          Contacted NextEngine directly for some help, and info..
                          It was very nice to be able to Actually Talk to someone.. A realPerson at that..
                          (Wish SW was Like that)
                          Anyhow, had the chance to test out the new software.. ScanstudioPro & Rapidworks..
                          They actually do much better than the previous results i wasgetting..
                          The new Meshing  tools really cleaned it up considerably.. Andthe Autosurfacing made for a pretty clean Model..(And Much smallerin Size than previously too).
                          The rapidworks,was nice too. It really did make good cylindrical& flat features & Planes, etc from the scan data. Ofcourse, it still takes a little work, but it's recognition offeatures Primitives really surprised me. So, basically, after thatlittle test run with the Pro & Rapidworks, I was reallyimpressed with it.
                          So, if your interested in it.. Just make sure you Tell whoevergives you the demo exactly what you intend to do with theresults..

                            • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                              Devon Sowell
                              Hi Rich-

                              Thanks for the update.

                              RE:"Pro & Rapidworks" $3490.00 plus tax?

                              So, to purchase and upgrade from SolidWorks Office Professional;

                              Machine plus tax = $2694.00
                              Upgrade to SolidWorks Office Premium = $3500.00
                              RapidWorks = $2495.00
                              Pro Upgrade = $995.00

                              Total = $9684.00 ?
                                • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                  Rich Osterreicher
                                  Hi Devon,
                                  Rapidworks includes the Pro....
                                  So i think your figure is fairly close.. (other than the ProUpgrade)
                                  Be nice if the Core had the included capability...
                                  But I guess that's like the Differences between Reg SW & SWPremium..
                                  From I was able to do yesterday with the newer versions, it' hasbeen much
                                  improved compared to what i had been doing from previous work witholder software...
                                  Going with at least the Pro would be a wise investment in my op...Simply because it has much improved Meshing & surfacecapabilities.. And it has the surfacing tools.. Saves out somepretty good Iges models.. Which then came into sw reallyclean..Mind you they still need a little work to make perfect, butit was much much easier and cleaner than before..
                                  Hope that gives you a lil more insight...

                                    • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                      Devon Sowell

                                      RE:"Hope that gives you a lil more insight..."

                                      Yes, it sure does. Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it.
                                        • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                          Pete DeLaurentis
                                          Hi guys,

                                          Sorry for the confusion. If you use either of our new softwareproducts: ScanStudio Pro or RapidWorks, any version of SolidWorkswill do.

                                          Details below:

                                          If you want mesh models that you can export as STL, get the scannerbundled with ScanStudio Core ... $2495 (useful for 3D printing,CAM)

                                          If you want to send splines or NURBS to SolidWorks, get the scannerwith ScanStudio Pro ... $3490

                                          If you want to reverse engineer full parametric CAD parts and sendthem to SolidWorks, get the scanner and RapidWorks ...$4990

                                          Thanks for all the interest in our scanner!

                                          Best Regards,

                                          Pete DeLaurentis
                                          Software Engineer
                                            • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                              Devon Sowell
                                              Hello Peter-

                                              Thanks for the the information. Please pass this along to SolidWorks and their VARs to help end the existing confusion.
                                                • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                  Rich Osterreicher
                                                  Pete is correct, Sorry for confusion.
                                                  You don't absolutely have to have SW Premium..
                                                  Getting much better models out now and working great with theScanStudio Pro..

                                                    • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                      John Layne

                                                      Rich Osterreicher wrote:



                                                      Pete is correct, Sorry for confusion.

                                                      You don't absolutely have to have SW Premium..


                                                      Getting much better models out now and working great with the
                                                      ScanStudio Pro..

                                                      Does having SW Premium replace the need for Scan Studio Pro or RapidWorks? Is there a matrix, somewhere, detailing what each one will do?

                                                      Just a little confused by the number options and I'm struggling to find information on RapidWorks or Scan Studio Pro.

                                                      Not that I will be buying one any time soon (unless I win the lottery), as the upgrade to SW Premium, Scan Studio Pro or RapidWorks is too expensive for a contractor paid in NZ dollars.

                                                        • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                          Rich Osterreicher
                                                          Hi John,
                                                          I'm just speaking from my exp with this..
                                                          Email NextEngine, They are Very good with Customer Service..Returning calls, helpful... They could give you the exactinfo..
                                                          The difference between ScanStudio Core (Included) and Pro is prettysignificant.
                                                          With Core, you can do your basic editing, etc.. Save out as STLmaybe other formats?
                                                          Pro has more refined editing tools, and the ability to createsurface bodies right in the ScanStudio. Which is nice for pullingthe models into Any cad package..
                                                          For in depth rapidWorks info... Go to Rapidform's website.. Lookthru the info on RapidForm XOR.. RapidWorks isbasically the sameexact program.. Same Functionality.. Slightly modified UI.

                                                          Hope that Helps..

                                                            • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                              John Layne
                                                              Thanks for the reply.

                                                              Strange that Nextengine don't mention Scan Studio Pro on their website, if it wasn't for this forum and Devon's Blog how would anyone know it even exists?

                                                              I'd still like to know if the functionality of ScanStudio or ScanStudio Pro is replicated in SolidWorks Premium?

                                                                • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                                  Devon Sowell
                                                                  Hi John-

                                                                  RE:"I'd still like to know if the functionality of ScanStudio or ScanStudio Pro is replicated in SolidWorks Premium?"

                                                                  Great question.
                                                                  • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                                    Jeff Mirisola
                                                                    I was on the phone last week with NextEngine prepping for my review of their scanner and, as I recall, SW Premium does NOT have the functionality of either of the ScanStudio packages.

                                                                      • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                                        Rich Osterreicher
                                                                        ScanStudio, ScanStudio Pro are completely standalone programs..
                                                                        As with RapidWorks too.
                                                                        All the Functionality is in the programs..
                                                                        Having SW Premium allows for a Direct Link between them..
                                                                        All the scan cleaup, etc is done in Studio... Then you click SW the Button in that's Studio
                                                                        to bring the Edited model right into SW Premium...Without Premium, you'd just have to save out the Model from ScanStudio thenimport it into SW manually..
                                                                        Having SW Premium provides for the Direct Link...
                                                                        But the ScanStudio, ScanStudio Pro & RapidWorks function thesame regardless of whether or not you have SW Premium.. WithPremium, you get the Direct Link..
                                                                        Without Premium, you have to bring the models into SWManually..

                                                                        5 or 6k$ for the full blown package might seem like a Lot..
                                                                        Or you could go with other brands.. Such as  a Zcorp model, orCyberware, several others. But you'll be paying 20 - 30K$ ormore..

                                                                          • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                                            John Layne

                                                                            Rich Osterreicher wrote:


                                                                            Without Premium, you have to bring the models into SW

                                                                            Thank for clearing that up,

                                                                            What formats can studio or Studio pro export to, can they export to SolidWorks native format?

                                                                            If they can not export to SolidWorks native format, I'd assume you will not be able to import the associated scanned textures back into SolidWorks?
                                              • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                Kevin Quigley
                                                John, just picking up this thread (this is such a hard forum tocheck!!).

                                                I've had the NextEngine scanner since April and it has beenexcellent. In terms of working with SolidWorks you are in NZ right?In that case you will be facing the typical non USA rip off pricingby SW. We are using SolidWorks Classic, so rather than fork out theextra £3500 (yes £3500) for the upgrade to Premium we use either VXDesigner or Rhino to handle the mesh data.

                                                I did beta the Scan Studio Pro but it was not as good as usingeither VX or Rhino, and seeing as we had both already it was a bitof a no brainer really.

                                                I have imported the STL mesh into SolidWorks direct from thescanner as a reference object but a raw mesh in SW is next touseless, so I normally do the mesh work in Rhino or VX then exportreference surfaces to SW as IGES.

                                                A lot of people knock the product but I think it is great - paidfor itself in one job!

                                                A huge bonus is that nextEngine are fair on pricing - one priceworldwide plus local taxes - including the software - why can;t theCAD vendors be like that? Another day maybe!
                                                  • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                    Ryan Bennett
                                                    I Bought office premium before scan studio pro or rapidworks came out and was completely disappointed with what I was able to do with the scanned images. My opinion, after having worked with all of it for a while now, is to go with rapidworks. Then import your model into solidworks. Rapidworks was the missing ingredient. It has some really cool tools. Now I am able to Scan a Helmet, clean it up in Rapidworks, and Autosurface. Then Send that to Mastercam to cut. Almost that simple. And Rapidworks is a lot less money then upgrading Solidworks!
                                                      • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                        Phil Way
                                                        Excellent info everyone. I am waiting for the NextEngine to arrive here. There are a number of ways we hope to utilize the tool. We will use this on both new designs and existing products. I look forward to contributing any information I can provide to the group.
                                                          • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                            Doug Pryor
                                                            I know it has been a while since this was originally posted. But since some time has passed, I wanted to get a fresh update. There still is not much out there on the net as far as reviews of the NextEngine scanner & system. They have been on the market a few years now and I think those that purchased them have had plenty of time to work out all of the kinks. So in general, what is eveyone's opinion of them? How do they do as far as accuracy? Let's say you wanted a solid CAD model of a cell phone. Would it work well for something like that?
                                                              • NextEngine Laser Scanner
                                                                Mike Wilson
                                                                They have a new "High Definition' model now. I've been using the older one for a few months now on different projects.

                                                                The help files are pitiful. Many of the advanced options aren't covered and you are constantly having to go to their tech support for dumb questions... like what does this button do?

                                                                Their support is quick and intelligent, so it makes up for things a bit.

                                                                Forget about rectilinear parts (like a circuit board). The scanner is terrible with sharp edges (they turn into round ones).

                                                                Curvilinear parts come in great!

                                                                Expect a very long learning curve for serious projects. It's like learning PhotoWorks with no help files. Lots of trial and error.

                                                                Matching up all of the scans is a frustrating experience most of the time, until you know all of the 'tricks' (again support gurus can help).

                                                                There's a scam you should be aware of. The 'Core' product can export surfaces (great), but SolidWorks will give you a warning saying 'Too many triangles' and refuse to import it. Thus you can only import the simplest of 'real' editable surfaces (ugly triangle meshes) or VRML non-editable 3d-pictures.

                                                                You need to upgrade to pro for the killer nurbs stuff.

                                                                A roundish cell phone would come it great with the Pro upgrade.

                                                                Anyhoo, for someone new to this, it was a let down. I expected more I guess... something along the lines of this product...


                                                                Play the video to see what I mean.