By: Isabelle Roy
Time to watch some TV with the brand new videos featuring the HandyPROBE portable CMM and the MetraSCAN 3D Optical CMM 3D scanners!
By: Isabelle Roy
As part of a measurement campaign targeted toward carbon electrodes in reduction furnaces, Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium wanted to follow up on its different electrode consumption mechanisms and optimize them, in order to better identify its electrode consumption reduction needs, and analyze the different possible solutions from an economic standpoint.
Rio Tinto wanted to study the variation in electrode wear levels according to several parameters, including carbon vaporization at the tip of the electrode and its reaction with the mineral. A previous study conducted in 1989 had made it possible to establish a wear pattern for electrodes. The current research team wanted to compare the 2012 results with those from 1989, but also optimize the parameters in order to reduce electrode consumption, since those are extremely pricey. To do that, they needed a typical electrode profile, at different stages of its useful life.
We recently received this image of a rock crab, scanned for an exhibit to be unveiled later this month at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, in California. The critter was digitalized using the newest member of our portable scanner family: the Go!SCAN 3D.
The author, Jay Morewood, a rapid prototyping engineer for Zip-Bit, said that the scan was quite tricky, since the model was very flexible, and had to be positioned only oWe always love to hear from users who push the limits of our technology, and it’s especially great for us to see how our new “babies” like the Go!SCAN 3D are adopted by the community. Mr. Morewood said that he was having “a lot of fun with his Go!SCAN 3D,” and was still trying out new poses for the crab. He also expressed a wish we’ve heard a lot in the past few months, that of increasing the resolution of the scanner… Well, we’re not promising anything, but we’re listening.
Another very interesting proof that you can scan anything with the Go!SCAN 3D, and easily generate a file ready for rapid prototyping through Go!MODEL, our companion data processing and modeling software.
By: Isabelle Roy
We always knew that the Creaform products were versatile, but sometimes their application surprise and amaze even us!
The University of Michigan owns a Handyscan 3D, which is made available to its research staff for various projects. In their own words, “this method of scanning is perfect for not only capturing an object’s basic form but also the details of its surface, since the laser is often of very high accuracy”.
One such project is currently helping Dr. Dan Fisher, of the UM Museum of Paleontology, lead a team of students who are creating 3D models from the bones of a mastodon. These huge bones were discovered in 1998 by an Indiana peat farmer, during the normal course of his work.
The mastodon, affectionately named “Fred,” was male and very large, about 12 feet tall, and with 9 feet long tusks! Mastodon remains are not so unusual in that region, but Fred was a little special, because he was especially well-preserved and complete (about 90% of its fossilized remains have been excavated).
In 2006, Fred was donated to the Indiana State Museum. Now, thanks to new technology that weren’t available even at the turning of the century, the University of Michigan Paleontology Department can use 3D scanning and printing to further solve this ultimate puzzle.
The Handyscan 3D is used to scan the bones (femurs, tibias, tusks…), and then the FDM Z-510 3D printer helps “print” these shapes directly into plaster. The 3D model enables researchers to create a virtual skeleton that can easily be shared, while the perfectly identical plaster bones can be glued together and assembled into an actual skeleton.
You can check out this video put together by the University’s 3D Lab, showcasing how the Handyscan 3D works.
By: Charles Morneau
In 2008 and within the scope of Creaform’s Annual 3D scanning contest, a team of Creaform employees scanned Bonhomme Carnaval, which earned them the 2nd position in the contest. Creaform repeated the experience 2012 and scanned the miniature version of the famous snowman.
Each year, the organization of the Québec Winter Carnival’s, the largest winter carnival in the world, must design an Effigy representing Bonhomme, the celebrity of the carnival. This Effigy is in fact the pass that visitors must buy to access the festivities. Therefore, it requires large scale production as more than 100,000 copies are sold each year. Several constraints must be taken into account like cost, processes and aesthetics, since the Effigy is also meant as a souvenir for visitors to keep once the carnival is over.
The 1st model is carved and painted by hand. Once the physical model has been created, a 3D virtual model is made to validate several constraints that must be factored in for the manufacturing phase. As for Bonhomme, the goal was to get a model that would unmold leaving only one mould seam, and that could be painted in 2 different stamping phases.
The 3D virtual model: Creaform scans the figurine
Creaform has been involved in the creation of the 2012 Effigy because it carried out the 3D scanning of the figuring with one of its Handyscan 3D portable scanners. This step made it possible to get a virtual mesh representing the physical model. Following that, Creaform made several modifications to it using a post-treatment software to get to a model that would meet the manufacturing criteria.
For instance, there was a part of the arrowhead sash that was missing on the original model. So, Creaform’s designers actually created it directly onto the virtual model during post-treatment. Plus, Bonhomme’s left hand had a very rounded shape, and because it was in front of Bonhomme’s body, it was impossible to unmold the figurine without damaging it. Creaform modified and moved it on the virtual model so to eliminate the issue when unmolding, while running the model through a treatment software to validate that the complete figurine would unmold. Plus, the undercut zones have been completely eliminated by changing Bonhomme’s shape in these particular areas. After that, the mesh model has been converted into a surface model to make the mold design easier.
3D model: How it makes things easier
Once the 3D model was finished, the Effigy mold design phase was launched. Working with a digital model greatly simplified the design phase, as it is possible in the CAD software to design the mould and to delete the Effigy’s digital model afterwards to create the cavity.
As for preliminary design, this method has several benefits, of which the fact that there is always a physical model giving a tangible image of the Effigy’s final look. This model can be easily modified and presented at design meetings. Plus, the scanning file obtained with the Handyscan 3D gives a précised virtual representation of the prototype. Post-treatment software used make it possible to make all the necessary modifications to guarantee that the digital model meets the manufacturing constraints.
KGO-TV, the local ABC television station in San Francisco, featured one of Creaform technologies recently. Journalist Heather Ishimaru discussed how the Pacific Gas and Electricity Company, usually referred to as PG&E, purchased a Handyscan 3D portable scanner, using it along with our Pipecheck software to test the integrity of its pipes.
The company is currently using the solution both in the field and in its testing facility located in San Ramon, in the East Bay area. It plans to deploy it further for its regular pipe maintenance inspection.
The news item highlighted how much of an improvement this new technology is compared to the conventional method, which consisted of applying chicken wire on the pipe, spray painting a grid, and manually assessing the corrosion! Literally, the Handyscan 3D and Pipecheck software could save the company “hours and hours and hours” of tedious work, says Alexander Gutierrez, the company senior Welding Engineer.
The simplicity of the solution was also presented, with its visual interface assessing and presenting the patterns of corrosion with a very high accuracy (40 microns).
PG&E provides natural gas and electricity to the northern 2/3rd of California, which corresponds to about 15 million customers.
Watch the video!
By: Isabelle Roy
Put us to the test… Once more!
It is with great pleasure and anticipation that we introduce our third engineering contest, where one or a team of lucky participants will win $25,000 towards the realization of their dream project… Yes, you read that right. That’s the kind of people we are at Creaform: we will reward and even pay people for truly challenging our 3D scanning and engineering experts!
If you have a special project in the back of your mind, one that is all at once very interesting and a little crazy, one that you can’t forget but never had the chance to work on because you don’t have the funds, the resources, or the technological means?
This contest is calling your name!
The contest is open to all schools as well as companies, big and small alike, from all over the world. A Creaform panel will evaluate all the entries and select the one that presents the best mix of technical challenges, scope and feasibility, and of course sheer fun! To qualify, projects need to involve at least one of the following Creaform expertise areas: 3D scanning, long range scanning, dimensional inspection, design and engineering, and finite element analysis (FEA).
Entries must be received by February 15, 2013.
Make sure you watch our little video about the contest for more information…
And while you’re at it, also take a look at last year’s winning project, which took one of our Quebec city-based application specialists all the way around the globe to Australia, where he helped design a kayak that perfectly fitted its athlete, Jessica Fox. With her expertly designed seat, Ms. Fox came to win the silver medal at the London Olympic Games! Did our input make a difference in her triumph? Don’t mind if we like to think so.
You could be next… Just think of the opportunities that would arise if you were selected.
Show us what you got! We’re eagerly awaiting your entries!!
By: Serge Bonsaint metrologist
I recently faced an interesting challenge: inspecting a large metallic part according to the specifications of a 2D drawing, then producing a report certifying the part conformity –or not! This device belongs to one of our Quebec city-based client, Olympus, and is used for non destructive inspection (NDT) with ultrasounds to assess the structural and physical integrity of metallic bars.
Using the HandyPROBE as part of the inspection process brings an extremely high level of precision, and enables the quick detection of any discrepancy in the material.
When using conventional technologies, such as portable measuring arms, we always need to make sure the work environment and conditions are “just right”. The setup needs to be very well thought-of and high quality; otherwise the accuracy of the results will suffer!
But when using the HandyPROBE, inspection becomes simpler, because the system allows the user to compensate for any disruptive environment-related element, such as vibrations emitted from manufacturing equipment, in real-time. It makes setups much less of a constraint, while making the whole experience easier, faster, and most of all more accurate!
While the client wins in terms of both time and inspection quality, I also win because I plainly love my job even more!
As our newest technology, we, application engineers in the Scan & Inspection department, are still getting to know the Go!SCAN 3D. And as with any new “toy”, we particularly like to test its limits.
We decided to try the Texture Mode and scan the entire passenger compartment of a Honda Civic 1995, no preparation involved at all.
No preparation at all. We opened the car door, and pulled the trigger. Litterally.
And quite frankly, we got very impressed with our own scanner!
We managed to wrap it up in about 30 minutes, and use as little as 10 positioning targets (OK, we lied earlier with the “no prep” thing. We did take 30 seconds to put the targets on).
Potential applications of this?
By: Isabelle Roy
The Go!SCAN 3D was the “guest” of Quality Digest’s LIVE TechCorner, hosted by editor in chief Dirk Dusharme.
This blog is definitely about innovation - about new technologies, new methodologies, new projects and new outcomes.
Through this blog, we will reach to the whole Creaform community and share info about the 3D world – our world.