This process can be applied to prototype phase in different kinds of ways, but the major use is to reduce design cycles needed in the prototyping. When 3D scans are used in designing a part, the accurate data makes it possible to utilize precise measurements of the physical product reducing the process by a huge percentage. The scanning is also combined with prototyping so that physical objects are scaled accurately.
It is among the areas that have greatly benefited from 3D scanning. They scans are applied starting with physical object and then using this to create a CAD model. Mating parts are also scanned and then incorporated into a given design so the end result is better fitting parts that are consistent. This process is known as reverse engineering or modeling and when utilized, new designs are improved and incorporated for engineering optimization of manufactured part.
In production, the scanning is used to capture tooling or parts changes which occur in the production phase. Usually hand tuning is needed in tooling to get the desired finish and look of a given part. When 3D comes into the picture, the optimizations and hand modifications are easy to transfer from tool to tool so all parts manufactured match after the production ends. The scans also help in analyzing and characterizing tool wear during the production; this is very helpful in correcting tool failure or eliminating the same before it is too late. It is actually very possible to recreate optimized part using a 3D scan.
3D scan data makes it possible for physical objects to be translated into the engineering phase of projects directly. The data offer flexibility in performing FEA, CAE, CFD and other analysis that is necessary in the engineering area on objects manufactured and physically modified. The process offers a simple way of achieving accuracy.
Using 3D scanning, it has become possible to analyze built condition of parts after manufacturing. This non-contact technology offers a quick way of inspecting overalls size and shape of the parts and detecting issues that could affect performance of the parts. When combined with statistical analysis software, 3D scanning helps maintain and predict the quality of parts in the manufacturing phase.