3D Scanning for Universities

By Stephen Choi on

Now that 3D scanners are much more common and accessible to different technical and non-technical fields and practices, it is a fantastic time for universities to get their hands on a scanner for research and education. More engineers in the field are using 3D scanners to create micron-accurate meshes of real objects as a baseline for new CAD designs, and more engineers are expected to have some experience with a scanner. There are other professionals using 3D scanning to their advantage as well, such as architects and designers. With so many uses and scanner options available, you may need a little help to narrow down your list so that you can find the right fit for your research and educational program needs.

Engineering Departments

3D Scanning Artec Leo Reverse EngineeringEngineering research universities could use a scanner such as the Artec Leo to support modern practices for reverse engineering with 3D scanners. Many engineers in practice use these scanners to represent real objects and environments accurately so they may create new designs based on those meshes. The workflow going from scanning objects to cleanup to final product modeling is a growing specialty amongst engineering teams. Because student and professor use for this scanner will vary between large and small tasks, a scanner like the Artec Leo is a great blanket fit to meet most users’ needs. Scanners are a technology that is rapidly developing to fit new needs such as quality analysis, so looking at a powerful scanner like the Leo will also give students and professors the ability to take professional quality scans.

>> Reverse Engineering with 3D Scanning

Veterinary Departments

3D Scanning for Veterinary MedicineResearchers are now finding ways to help our friends in nature using 3D scanning. Artec 3D scanners are perfect for the task due to the high-resolution scanning and portability while dealing with animals. From scanning sea creatures to 3D print tags that allow for better mobility, to land creatures missing a limb that needed a prosthetic, the Artec Eva has helped to quickly and accurately capture 3D data to enable the research teams involved to quickly and successfully complete their tasks.   

>> Using 3D Scanning in Veterinary Medicine

Architecture Departments

Artec Ray Building ScanningArchitecture departments can also utilize a scanner to give students the ability to study and interact with high-quality mesh files. For example, students at Virginia Tech may be performing a study that involves improving the structural integrity of an old load-bearing structure. To tackle this problem with a full plan would involve knowing and understanding the pre-existing structure to see what adjustments can or cannot be made. If those students were to acquire a polished 3D mesh file of those structures, students would be able to analyze the mesh to create new CAD files representing new structures. This is just an example of how architectural students might use a scanner to improve the quality of their projects and studies.

>> Using 3D Scanning for Heritage Preservation

How Will Your Scanner be Used?

When looking for a 3D scanner that best suits a research university environment, there are a few questions that need to be answered such as:

  • What size objects will be scanned?
  • Will the user always be able to be near a computer with a scanner, or will a project involve moving the scanner to a large area?

There is now a large portfolio of different scanners that are used for fine details for quality analysis, and scanners on wheels that are made to scan large areas at a time. A university may have multiple answers to these questions, so a scanner that can fit many needs would have the best value.

Scanner for Multiple Disciplines

3D Scanning Mayan Tombs Architecture

The Artec Leo is a fantastic option for students and professors across multiple disciplines. This scanner can pick up fine details but can be used further back to scan large areas at a time. This scanner even has a screen built-in and can align scans automatically, which is an important part of obtaining a high-quality mesh. Not needing to be tethered to a computer is also a huge plus that removes a large inconvenience. Regardless of which scanner you decide to go with, make sure it’s one that fits your needs. If you have many different needs, pick a scanner as versatile as the Artec Leo.

When Fine Details are Crucial

Artec Space Spider for Fine Details

When it comes to using research to develop products, accuracy and details are crucial for a robust design. Some scanners may support a large range of resolution for the scanner, but if the details are important, a specialized scanner for a smaller resolution may be required. The Artec Space Spider can reach up to a 50-micron resolution and can create scans with every little detail. If these details are just part of a larger scanned mesh, the Spider’s scans can be combined with scans from other machines to create a full image with the higher resolution where it counts. Many scans can be combined in Artec Studio, a very refined mesh post-processing tool that makes cleanup a quick and forgiving task.

>> Top 10 New Features in Artec Studio 16

While many universities are taking on developing technologies such as 3D printing and new CAD software, there would be a gap if 3D scanners are not included. Many engineering teams are now looking for 3D scanners to fill in workflow gaps, especially with reverse engineering, and it is a process students can benefit from. Practicing architects also have many uses for these scanners that should be shown in universities so students have experience as soon as they join the job search. While many scanners are available, making sure you select the best scanner for your team’s needs is critical. If you need help with that next step, reach out to TriMech!

Interested in learning more about 3D scanning and the possibilities it can create? We have both Artec scanner and Geomagic for SOLIDWORKS training classes available.