Welcome to Part 2 of our End-to-End Workflow Series, where we are sharing the solutions available to help you achieve your manufacturing goals.

In competitive business landscapes, efficiency is a key ingredient in the recipe for success and is often the tiebreaker in contests between otherwise comparable players. Whether you want to overtake your competition with a more effective approach or simply want to fine-tune operations to fully optimize your business, 3D digitization is an expedient, accurate and effective strategy for workflows that require a digital version of a physical object.

We live in a highly digital world, which makes digitization a fairly familiar concept, especially in the realm of print media. Documents, books, photos and more, are frequently digitized, which simply means: translated into a digital format. However, the scope of digitization extends to far more. Whether by scanning the surfaces of a three-dimensional object or using comprehensive dimensional imaging like CT scans, we are able to reverse engineer physical artifacts with 3D scanning software to produce a digital file. Once that 3D file is created, it can be scaled, refined, catalogued or replicated in a downstream workflow.

Digitization with 3D scanning has proven enormously beneficial across industries and specialties, from accelerating product or packaging design, to facilitating challenging custom part repairs, to increasing use in medical and dental labs for patient-specific anatomical models, surgical guides, restorations, and devices. 3D digitization has even found a place in remote archeological digs to capture and archive excavation sites without disturbance. The ability to capture and manipulate real-world data with a 3D scanner and laptop has dramatically changed timelines and expectations for what is possible.

Reverse engineering is an expedient and reliable way to create CAD data for existing or custom parts.

Using 3D Systems’ solutions for reverse engineering, 3D Systems’ customers are able to create feature-based CAD data from existing parts as much as 80% faster than by hand. In other cases, reverse engineering has proven to be the only viable and reliable way to create CAD data for existing or custom parts, like this reproduction of a heritage object for the King’s Car in Great Britain. Although 3D scanning generally does not eliminate design work altogether, it significantly jumpstarts the design process and provides a dimensionally accurate foundation for the final file. This can be critical in applications where the part in question must fit into a preexisting assembly or system. In some cases our customers say they could not have achieved what they set out to do without a digitization workflow.

For professionals and companies versed in 3D design, 3D Systems offers several scan-to-CAD software options, including Geomagic® Design X™, Geomagic Wrap® and Geomagic® for SOLIDWORKS®. 3D Systems’ scan-to-CAD software are compatible with any 3D scanner you prefer to work with. For healthcare workflows, 3D Systems offers D2P™ (DICOM to PRINT) software, a software with FDA 510(K) clearance that allows the healthcare community (surgeons, radiologists, lab technicians and device designers) to quickly and accurately create digital 3D anatomical models from medical imaging data. Alternatively, if internal resources are unavailable, 3D Systems’ 3D Modeling Services allow you to upload 3D scan data for data processing by our team of experts.

From replacing under hood car parts to generating patient-specific guides and devices, digitization can help you achieve your design and manufacturing goals. Talk to us to learn more.

Stay Tuned: In our next post we’ll talk about design and simulation solutions that offer flexibility and ease of use to make creating precise and manufacturable designs faster and more streamlined.

Previously in this Series:

Get A Competitive Edge with 3D Systems’ Solutions