Cost Saving Ideas

How to reduce your costs or “scanning lessons learned” (Note that we will happily “fix” these problems as part of our service, it just costs more.)
  1. Clean off all grease and dirt from your part. The dirt or surface roughness will be picked up by the lasers and increases the number of data points because the height is not exactly the same as the surrounding area. We will have to determine if the points are valid. The extra data points also clutter up your CAD display.
  2. Remove traces of a paper gasket or sealer on a machined surface becase they will show in the scan. The scanner picks up .002 inch thick edges. This makes the surface skewed unless we compensate for it manually. We try to align to the coordinate axes based on machined surfaces if at all possible.
  3. Spend a few minutes wire brushing the loose or chipping paint off. . The triangles making up each edge of each curling paint chip need to be manually removed by us. Most Rapid prototyping houses will reject this as having a “folded mesh.” This is why we cleanup all meshes. Figure on us spending about 15 minute’s cleanup time for each loose paint chip. Also we may need to spray on a white powder to enhance the reflection of dark or shiny surfaces. Some white powder may remain stuck in the cracks. Some paint chips may come off. We will tell you this when we see pictures of your model.
  4. Likewise remove casting flash from the original die-casting process. It will be in the model unless someone removes it. Remember, A CLEAN PART IS A CLEAN SCAN.
  5. Place putty in deep holes if you do not need capture the depth of the holes. Often the holes are drilled after the casting. Captuing deep holes is problematic for most 3-D laser scanners including ours. We need to spend a lot of time taking multiple scans to get just the correct angle and cover all the sides of the hole all the way down to the bottom.  We could save 10 minutes by just modeling the outer part of the hole!
  6. Cored castings or castings with interior features should be cut in half if the part is expendable. This is the easiest way to model the interior features. In some cases, we can measure enough of the inside to model the part without cutting it open. We can also recommend a cut line for you if you would like. Measure the thickness of the saw cut (kerf-not just blade width) as you cut the part so we can put the halves of the model together properly.
  7. Send pictures of all surfaces of your part when you are getting a quote. We can give you a much better quote on your job if we know there are not going to be any unknown features. We also need to know about roughness of the part’s surface.
  8. Secure all loose parts that could move when the part is scanned. Consecutive scans will not align properly if the surface moves even a few thousandths of an inch. You can supply a clear piece of flexible plastic that we can wedge in as the laser will go through clear plastic. The clear plastic should be removable so we can spray with the white powder without coating the plastic.
  9. To save even more money for advanced CAD users, we can do limited scanning and only part of the modeling process.  For instance, we can scan only the section of the part that is difficult to model using convertional tools. Again, we will be happy to explain how to reduce your costs as much as possible to match your capabilities.