The various kinds of 3D scanner that is available in the market

Published: 12th August 2011
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3-D scanners or three-dimensional scanners create 3-D computer models by collecting properties from an object like color, shape or internal structure. Millions of points are plotted on the x, y and z axes to recreate the object digitally. 3-D scanners can be used to machine parts, inspect objects for quality and to archive objects into a computer. There are a number of varieties of scanner that are available in the market, and here is a guideline for the various types of 3D scanners available.

Contact 3-D scanners utilize a probe at the end of a mechanized arm to contact the surface of the object to conduct an accurate scan. Another type of 3-D contact scanner is the CMM or the coordinate measuring machine which uses its probe to plot points on the x, y and z axes. These types of scanners are frequently used in clay animation and manufacturing. The contact 3-D scanner is slower than a non-contact scanner though it can be more accurate. This type of scanner does not work well with objects that should not be touched like delicate or ancient objects.

Unlike contact scanners, non-contact 3-D scanners do not need to make physical contact with the surface of an object. Using either active or passive methods, the scanner creates an accurate cloud of points that is used in rapid prototyping, engineering analysis, virtual assembly and other industries. When it comes to fragile objects, non-contact 3-D scanners are more frequently used than any other type of scanner.

Active non-contact 3-D scanners emit beams of radiation and then plot points based on how the radiation reflects off the object. There are multiple kinds of active non-contact 3-D scanners, including time of flight scanners, triangulation scanners, structured light scanners and magnetic resonance imaging scanners. These devices are fast at scanning though they do not register dark reds or blacks because these colors absorb light. These scanners also do not show transparent surfaces very well because of radiation passing through them.

Passive non-contact 3-D scanners use ambient radiation located around the object to determine its shape. These are the least expensive of all the scanners and they often use an already present light source to perform scans. There are multiple types of non-contact passive scanners including stereoscopic video scanners, image-based modeling scanners and silhouette scanners. Yet another type of 3D scanners, 3D laser rangefinders are most commonly used by fans of golf. The devices are used when the golfer needs to see the range of their shot to help then plan their swing. It works by fixing the laser on one point and then gathering information which enables the device to tell you the exact distance between the 3D scanner and that point.

You can find barcode scanners, which are 3D scanners too in every single store throughout the country as you need one of these in order to be able to buy something. These scanners work by reading all the different vertical lines and numbers which make up a barcode and gathering the information that they contain. There are triangulation 3D scanner too uses a laser to scan its environment. The scanner shines a laser onto the object and then uses a camera to look for the location of the laser dot. This is known as a triangulation scanner because the laser emitter, camera and laser dot form a kind of triangle.

3D Scanner can really help you to get a detailed view of any object. Follow the links for scanners 3D.

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