3D Printing, Inspection and Reverse Engineering Integrate at Quality Expo 2013

by Gina Strickland, Senior Channel Manager, Geomagic Solutions

Reverse engineering and 3D inspection are always prevalent themes at an event like Quality Expo, as manufacturers drive to improve manufacturing results in faster times. But its fascinating to see how participants incorporate RE and inspection into specific workflows. One process at this year’s event in Chicago, September 10 – 12, 2013, featured original part scanning with the Nikon MMDX100, reverse engineering in Geomagic Design X, and printing on both a 3D Systems CubeX and a ProJet 460 printer.

              

I was struck and amazed by how seamless the entire process was—from actual metal part, to a virtual model, and then back to a 3D print on both a consumer printer and an industrial printer. Many attendees shared the amazement of seeing the truck part in so many varying degrees. Imagine stopping by the Nikon booth to see users inspecting the actual metal part on the Nikon Altera CMM while they scanned the ProJet 460 3D print in the Nikon MCT225 CT machine to assess porosity. You can see the CT data here.

“It was interesting how precise the MJP part taken on the ProJet 460 was,” said Corey Mayeda, Regional Sales Manager, Geomagic. “The Cube X part was predictably less accurate but still surprisingly within a few millimeters of the original scan.”

Nearby, they also completed an inspection and produced an inspection report comparing the CAD model to the 3D-printed part. As if that wasn’t enough, there was a never ending supply of miniature CubeX printed parts collecting around the booth. When you think about it, with all this integrated technology, attendees were able to experience the entire adaptive manufacturing process in one short visit. Incredible.