Is a High-Resolution 3D Scanner Worth the Investment?
As the 3D scanning industry continues to develop, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the number of available options. When shopping for a new 3D scanner, you can't simply purchase the cheapest option available and expect the results you need. If you want the best 3D scanning solution available or you're working with a limited budget, knowing which models are worth the investment will help you save time and money. Choosing the wrong 3D scanner could cost you more money in the long run. Get the results you want with the best high-resolution 3D scanners available.
What Makes a 3D Scanner "High Resolution"?
3D scanners must capture as much information as possible to create accurate digital twins with the resulting scan data. 3D scanners collect millions of X-Y-Z coordinate points with fast measurements for dimensional analysis of the entire physical part to create a digitized model. The more data points available, the more detailed the results will be. Companies that invest in quality engineering for optics, cameras, and other components that help improve resolution can offer better 3D capabilities than their competition. High-resolution 3D scanners give users complete data, known as full-field data, that results in an accurate digital twin of their physical part. Data visualization makes identifying and resolving problems easier before it's too late and parts have gone into production. With fewer iterations, manufacturers can limit development costs and save time. This improvement in efficiency makes high-resolution 3D scanners worth the investment.
How Much Does a High-Resolution 3D Scanner Cost?
While low-end 3D scanner models cost only a few hundred dollars, mid-range options can be purchased for around $5K to $7K. If you want the most out of your 3D scanner, however, you'll need a metrology-grade 3D scanner. While these can cost around $20K to $170K or more for a high-resolution solution, it's important to remember that when it comes to quality, you don't want to skimp on price. For many professional applications, the cost of a high-resolution 3D scanner is worth it for the added resolution.
3 Reasons Why a High-Resolution 3D Scanner Is an Investment that Pays for Itself
While a high-resolution 3D scanner is generally more expensive than less advanced models, the higher cost will pay for itself in the long term. Many users who purchase a high-resolution 3D scanner achieve a return on investment from the many advantages they deliver. For example, the U.S. Army's Aviation Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) saved approximately $100 million by implementing high-resolution 3D scanning. Specifically, the project deployed an ATOS 3D scanner, improving their capabilities and saving them time and money. A high-resolution 3D scanner offers cost savings through various long-term and short-term improvements. By reducing iterations and rework, improving communication, attaining higher product quality, and achieving a faster time to market, users can mitigate many of the upfront costs associated with purchasing a higher-end model.
1. Investing in a High-Resolution 3D Scanner Produces Data Quality that Reduces Iterations and Minimizes Rework
Because high-resolution 3D scanners collect millions of accurate XYZ coordinate points, the data is clearer and easier to visualize. Lower resolution options make it more difficult for users to achieve their desired results, resulting in noisy data. By reducing iterations and rework, high-resolution 3D scanners save time, money, and labor. For example, by investing in high-resolution 3D scanning, Mann+Hummel, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of air filter components for the automotive industry, reduced their tool-tuning iterations of plastic injection molding parts from 3-4 to 1-2. Most high-resolution 3D scanners come with software and tools that simplify production. For example, GOM Software allows users to use data from high-resolution 3D scanners to perform virtual assembly and digital assembly. With this ability, users can simulate the assembly of parts to ensure they fit. This process improves form and function, resulting in better quality designs before the parts even go into production, minimizing the need to rework designs repeatedly.
2. Investment in a High-Resolution 3D Scanner Results in a Faster Time to Market
High-resolution 3D scanners capture more points per second, delivering accurate results faster. This increase in the speed of data collection enables a faster time to market and higher profits, giving users a competitive advantage. ADAC, an automotive plastics tier-one supplier, reaps the benefits of a high-resolution 3D scanner with improved performance and faster production speeds. The company increased the number of parts they scan annually by more than 20 times using high-resolution structured light 3D scanning. With better precision and enhanced optics, high-resolution 3D scanners are perfect for intricate designs and fine details. By deploying better quality control mechanisms, users can verify whether their designs will work before wasting time and resources moving into production. Better accuracy leads to higher quality 3D parts, allowing manufacturers to bring their products to market faster.
3. Investing in a High-Resolution 3D Scanner Improves Product Quality Standards
With a high-resolution 3D scanner, businesses can ensure that the parts they produce meet the set quality standards. Visual data simplifies the quality control process by allowing departments to identify and communicate issues before manufacturing the final product. By using high-resolution 3D scanning, BMW improved its QA process. Cloud-based software and tools limit the amount of resource waste that would otherwise be necessary for large-scale product development pipelines and quickly deliver refined designs. BMW was able to meet the demands of a high-production environment with its setup. Because they're simple to use and easy to implement in any setting, high-resolution 3D scanners allow companies to meet their product quality standards effectively. More team members can collaborate, contribute to problem-solving, and increase innovation with data that's easy to understand and evaluate.
Important Factors to Consider When Shopping for a High-Resolution 3D Scanner
The right high-resolution 3D scanner is essential for maximizing efficiency by reducing iterations and quickly getting high-quality products to market. To take advantage of these benefits, you should consider many various factors when determining which solution is right for you. Data quality, speed, accessibility, and extra features are crucial to project outcomes. Whether you need a high-accuracy 3D scanner, a handheld 3D scanner, or a small laser 3D scanner, finding the right high-resolution 3D scanner will improve your project, giving you a significant return on investment.
3D printers require a rendering that they can use as a basis for building a 3D model. Higher-quality models have thicker renderings that need more data points for accurate printing. This operational model means data quality is the most important factor when purchasing a high-resolution 3D printer. When shopping for a high-resolution 3D scanner, ensure the data quality is high enough to support the desired results. Look for the most accurate 3D scanner possible to ensure your solution can reliably process the information needed to produce the best results.
Speed is another critical consideration when shopping for a high-resolution 3D scanner. If increasing throughput is a goal for your company, consider automating your high-resolution 3D scanner. Automation allows you to create 3D scanning routines that reduce unnecessary iterative processes and get more done faster. The speed of the 3D scanner itself is primarily determined by how many data points can be collected per scan. Generally, good scanning speeds should be at least 200,000 points per second (PPS).
Ease of use is another important consideration when selecting a high-resolution 3D scanner. Not all users have the same level of technical knowledge. A 3D scanner that can deliver high-resolution models without requiring users to have specialized skill-sets makes it easier for companies to iterate and design new products across large teams. Rebuilding the real world with digital tools and software is a difficult process. Many industrial 3D scanners provide easy-to-use apps and programs for scanning, visualizing, and sharing 3D models. With the right hardware and software in place, anybody can create high-resolution 3D structures.
Software features and support are important factors to the success of 3D projects. With highly-accurate cameras and modeling software, high-resolution 3D scanners enable fine-grained measurements and adaptive technologies. Whether objects are large, small, detailed, or simple, a high-resolution 3D scanner allows users to scan and reproduce them in a matter of minutes. Measuring, molding, casting, and reiterating designs are essential steps in the reconstruction process. With easy-to-use pre and post-processing software, advanced LIDAR capabilities, and automatic alignment and customization capabilities, a high-resolution 3D scanner has all of the modern features needed for professional 3D modeling and printing.
What Are the Best High-Resolution 3D Scanners?
There are many low, mid, and high-end 3D scanners available to users of all skill levels. From smaller models to large high-precision 3D scanners, users have access to a wide variety of options when deciding which is right for them.
• ATOS 5:
Developed for industrial use, ATOS 5 is a high-resolution 3D scanner that delivers high-precision data quickly. Many industry-leading manufacturing companies rely on ATOS 5 as their workhorse. This high-resolution 3D scanner captures full-field 3D measurement data to support comprehensive process and quality control, visualizing hidden errors and accelerating production processes. With the combination of ATOS hardware and GOM Software, ATOS 5 safely integrates 3D metrology technology into production. This high-resolution 3D scanner's industrial housing protects against dust and splash water, allowing it to thrive in industrial environments. This complete system ensures fast and interference-free transfer of high-resolution data.
• ATOS 5 Airfoil:
ATOS 5 Airfoil is a high-resolution 3D scanner engineered specifically for the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries. Whether the application is aerospace or ground-powered, ATOS 5 for Airfoil is the best high-resolution 3D scanner for providing accurate 3D measurements for airfoil inspection. ATOS 5 Airfoil delivers high-precision data in a short measuring time, even under harsh conditions. The full-field, high-resolution 3D measurement data supports comprehensive process and quality control, visualizing hidden errors and accelerating production processes.
• ATOS Q:
ATOS Q is a powerful portable high-resolution 3D scanner that collects precise, high-definition 3D data from various objects ranging from small to medium-sized parts across diverse industries. Featuring interchangeable measuring lenses for flexibility and a sleek, modern design for portability, ATOS Q is specifically developed for industrial use.
• GOM SCAN 1:
GOM Scan 1 is a compact high-resolution 3D scanner engineered with industrial standards such as GOM fringe projection technology and Blue Light Technology. With features that deliver accurate 3D scan data quickly, GOM Scan 1 is ideal for reverse engineering, 3D printing and additive manufacturing, quality control, research, art, design and other applications involving small to medium-sized parts that must be captured in accurate detail. With integrated GOM Software, you can edit and apply the mesh to any project you want— from 3D printing to inspection and beyond. The best 3D scanners will have high-resolution options that make scanning and printing detailed 3D models a breeze.
Find the Right High-Resolution 3D Scanner to Invest in Your Success
Producing the best results requires a high-resolution 3D scanner from a company with the knowledge and expertise to meet your needs. With accurate high-resolution, you can go beyond measurement and access the opportunities digital transformation provides. There are numerous factors to consider when purchasing a high-resolution 3D scanner. Accuracy, quality, and added features directly influence the final product. CAPTURE 3D's team of metrology experts will help you find the best high-resolution 3D scanner to meet your needs. Find out for yourself how a high-resolution 3D scanner can improve your quality control processes. Contact a CAPTURE 3D team member to request a demo today!
A high-resolution 3D scanner provides the accurate data needed to support faster and more reliable decision-making to resolve issues and move into production quickly. With this improvement, businesses are bringing products to market faster— and increasing their profits as a result. High-resolution 3D scanners are the best way to gain an edge against the competition. Contact a CAPTURE 3D team member for a proof of concept to see how our high-resolution 3D scanners work with your specific part. See for yourself how a high-resolution 3D scanner fits into your budget. Download our ROI calculator to understand its impact on your budget. Contact us today, we can't wait to help you begin your digital transformation journey with the best high-resolution 3D scanner for your application.