CAD software is an essential part of managing a company's product lifecycle; to shorten time to market, improve product quality and reduce costs. Without them, product development would be a much more complicated and time-consuming process. 3D scanning gives you the opportunity to generate an accurate CAD model of physical objects, quickly and easily. Portable 3D scanners are now essential to design the best product possible, with minimal costs and rapid time to market. They make it much easier for engineers to retrieve CAD files than in the past. They can work from the scanned file and use other software to develop and test new products.
To move from 3D scanning to CAD software, designers can use three workflows: CAD software, comprehensive back-engineering software, scanning software to CAD, each of which has advantages and disadvantages, described below. The best option will depend on the specific needs of the designer, the frequency of use and the budget allocated.
This workflow takes place entirely with CAD software, where the .stl-sized CAD file is imported, the mesh is cleaned and then aligned. Once the mesh is cleaned and aligned, the measurements and features are extracted. Feature modeling can now begin in order to get the final CAD model.
The construction shaft is registered in the CAD software. If a feature is changed (e.g., increasing or decreasing the size of a hole), all associated features will be updated without having to touch anything.
Compared to other software, CAD software is limited to mesh editing (mesh cleaning, noise removal and hole filling), as well as alignment. With some CAD software, designers cannot modify the mesh, which can only be used as a visual reference.
Dedicated back-engineering software
This workflow starts directly in the retro-engineering software, where the mesh is created, edited and aligned. Once the scan is cleaned and aligned with the desired coordinate system, the dimensional properties are then extracted. CAD operations, i.e. feature modeling, are performed in the retro-engineering software before the solid model is transferred to the CAD software and before obtaining the final CAD model.
The back-engineering software offers high-performance features for mesh modification and alignment. The construction tree can be transferred from the complete retro-engineering software to the CAD software.
Cependant, les logiciels CAO et de rétro-ingénierie peuvent générer des problèmes de compatibilité et le transfert de l’arbre de construction peut poser des problèmes. Il est plus coûteux que n’importe quel autre logiciel. Les concepteurs, souvent qualifiés et expérimentés à l’utilisation des logiciels CAO, doivent apprendre à utiliser un nouveau logiciel avec des fonctionnalités différentes.
Software gateway from digitization to CAD
After generating, aligning and optimizing the mesh, dimensional properties are extracted from geometric features, cross sections and parts of surfaces (for freeforms). These features can then be transferred to the CAD software and used as baseline data on which feature modeling will be supported. A final validation step, the comparison of the final CAD model with the mesh, completes this workflow and obtains the final CAD model.
This gateway option is less expensive than a complete retro-engineering software and easier to use. The software that bridges the word between scanning and CAD allows designers to switch to CAD software more quickly.
It sometimes requires juggling different applications when additional features are needed.
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