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The benefits of 3D scanning at a high level are clear: you can create a digital representation of a physical object. This has benefits in the fields of manufacturing, prototyping, quality assurance, forensics, reverse-engineering, and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and FEA (finite element analysis) simulations. However, with the myriad of 3D scanning solutions available, understanding which technology is right for your particular use case is important. For many commercial applications, blue light scanner technology makes the most sense as it enables precise, accurate, and rapid high-quality 3D scanning workflows that can be automated and scaled to meet the demands of a number of industries.

In this piece, we’ll dive into the specific applications and benefits of blue light scanner technology, answer the “how does blue light scanning work?” question, and provide you with actionable information to get started with or learn more about blue light 3D scanner solutions.

Specific Benefits & Applications of Blue Light 3D Scanners

To understand the benefits of a blue light 3D scanner, it is important to first understand the different types of scanning technology and how blue light scanning works. At a high level, 3D scanning can be split into two categories: optical scanners and contact scanners. Generally speaking, optical scanners, like ATOS scanners, are superior to traditional contact measurement scanners as optical scanners enable the faster collection of data, better accuracy, more detail, and require no specialized training (for more detail, check out our piece on ATOS vs CMM).

However, not all optical scanners use the same technology. Structured light scanning is a popular category of optical scanners and is used for many commercial applications today. Structured light scanning offers many advantages over another laser scanning (another optical scanning type). For example, generally speaking, structured light scanners are less labor-intensive and faster than laser scanners.

 Diving further into the structured light scanning subcategory, there are different colors of light used for taking measurements. Blue light measurement and white light measurement are two of the most common types. Blue light and white light scans work similarly in that they both project shadows from a 2D lens onto a 3D object and they triangulate and use cameras and algorithms to generate detailed point clouds. The coordinate data captured is then used to create 3D models of the scanned object. While that answers the ““how does blue light scanning work?” question, it also begs the “what’s the difference between blue light measurement and white light measurement?” question. Simply put, because blue light has a more narrow wavelength, it enables enhanced filtering and higher quality scans than white light. For more on the topic of laser scanning vs structured light scanning and white light vs blue light scanning, check out our piece titled White Light vs Blue Light Scanning. With an understanding of these differences, let’s dive into the benefits and applications that make blue light 3D scanner solutions so powerful.

Capture High-Quality, Accurate 3D Scans Rapidly

As mentioned above, blue light 3D scanner technology allows for higher quality scans than alternative solutions. To get an idea of the potential business impact of this, it is important to note that not only can blue light 3D scanners produce high-quality scans, but they can also do so rapidly. For example, the GOM ATOS Triple Scan won the GE Aviation High Accuracy, High Throughput Inspection Technologies Challenge. During the challenge, scanners had to demonstrate the accuracy of 10 microns or less and repeatability of 5 microns or less, and complete the task in 3 minutes or less.

What this means is that ATOS 3D blue light metrology solutions can bring the same level of quality, accuracy, and speed that helped it win in a field of 51 scanners to business applications such as lean manufacturing, Industry 4.0, quality management, and failure analysis. As a result, they can bring benefits like reduced cost, faster time to market, increased quality, and optimized processes.

Leverage Full Field Scanning With A Blue Light 3D Scanner

Another major benefit of blue light 3D scanner solutions is the power of full field scanning. What makes full field scanning so important, particularly in applications where time and efficiency are important, is that it enables you to capture large surface areas at one time. This is a paradigm shift from the legacy contact measurement approach that can make operations run much more efficiently.

By capturing large areas at once with a scan, organizations are able to get more done quicker and improve workflow efficiency. In many cases, an entire object can be scanned at once thanks to full field scanning. Coupled with the fact that the setup time of ATOS blue light 3D scanners is often minimal, the business benefits are clear.  

Automate Workflows With A Blue Light 3D Scanner

Automation is a big part of Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing. The more an organization can automate and streamline workflows, the more efficient and scalable they can become. The automation of 3D blue light scanning can be applied to a number of applications and provide significant benefits in the way of productivity and repeatability.

For example, Virtual Measuring Room (VMR) software allows users to easily build automated measurement environments and improve workflow safety and turnaround times. VMR enables automatic sensor positioning, collision detection, integrations with RFID and bar code readers, and much more to help add a layer of automation to 3D scanning workflows. Further, VMR offers a graphical Kiosk Touchscreen Interface that is job-task programmable and can enable touch-screen operation.

While the software is important to enabling automation, so is hardware, and this is no different in the world of blue light 3D scanning. ATOS solutions like the GOM ScanBox are excellent examples of 3D scanning hardware that enables industrial automation and efficient workflows. The GOM ScanBox is a holistic, plug & plan blue light 3D scanning solution that enables automation in quality control and can be delivered and installed within a matter of weeks.

Similarly, custom ATOS robotic cells allow organizations to greatly increase throughput in 3D scanning workflows. These ATOS robotic solutions are capable of integration with a variety of robot vendors and allow for rapid part inspection in production environments. Further, these solutions can be designed to operate with minimal supervision.

Conclusion: Blue Light 3D Scanner Solutions Enable Improved Business Outcomes

As we have seen, 3D blue light scanner technology has a number of applications and benefits and can be a real game changer. While many smaller organizations think they are priced out of the benefits of blue light scanners, oftentimes this simply isn’t true. With portable 3d scanners starting at $33,450, everyone from small businesses to large enterprises can leverage blue light technology.  

Need more information? Visit our blue light 3D scanners page now! Our team at Capture3D is dedicated to helping customers learn how they can get the most out of 3D scanning solutions and we would love to hear from you! If you’d like to discuss a particular application with our team, contact us today! As a GOM-certified partner and the leader in the 3D scanning and photogrammetry space, we are uniquely capable of helping you find the right solution for applications of all sizes.

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