How Companies are Using 3D Scanning for Quality Assurance

   By on May 1, 2020

In today’s design and manufacturing world, things are more competitive than ever before. For most companies this means that to stay ahead of the competition, their designs must be perfect, but it also means that the final production quality must be spot on as well to ensure customer satisfaction.

Quality Assurance in the Manufacturing Process

There are two important factors to consider for quality assurance: time and accuracy. For many manufacturers, these can be very real issues given the difficulty of accurately measuring products that have curves and rounded surfaces with standard tools such as calipers and tape measures in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, for a lot of companies these two factors can be hard to overcome.

Most companies have a quality assurance department whose job is to take a cross section of parts produced, put calipers and tape measure to them and compare the measurements to the shop drawings to verify the part is within the specified tolerances. While this can be an effective method to ensure the quality of the parts produced, it is a time-consuming method and can be affected by human error. Depending on the part, the natural flex of a part can also play a part in the accuracy of the measurements.

3D Scanning for Quality Assurance

For companies looking for quality assurance with a high degree of accuracy and faster speeds than traditional measuring can provide, 3D scanning can be the perfect tool. Scanning can provide a highly accurate model of complex geometries in a timely manner. Given the nature of quality assurance, this can benefit companies in ways that they may not even expect.

Mold Model in Geomagic                                                                                             Click to enlarge

Our Project Engineering group had the opportunity to work with a company that had been using a mold for years that needed to be replaced. Given the age of the existing tooling, they didn’t have an original model or drawing to base the new mold. Our client used their internal resources to generate a model based off the product, but when the new mold tooling was created, they found that it was using close to 50% more material than the previous one. This was a large problem due to the increase in the cost of each part and given the complexity of the part, it would have taken the company a large amount of time to figure out where the excess material was going.

Excess material comparison in Geomagic
Click to enlarge
Complex Geometries in Geomagic

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We recommended using a 3D scanner to scan a part from the original mold and a part from the new mold. Once the part was scanned, we used Geomagic Control X to compare both parts with the model that was used to create the second mold and generated a report showing the differences. This comparison clearly showed where the differences were and the client was able to revamp the model and mold to bring it within the original specifications for the first mold, thus reducing the material cost and saving the company money on each part.

Mold Model Draft in GeomagicClick to enlarge

>> Read our related article, How to Bridge 3D Scanning With 3D CAD

Combining scanning and Geomagic Control X can provide a cost effective and time-saving quality assurance method. Utilizing these together allows for a company to produce a higher quality product in a faster time frame, while maintaining a higher standard of quality than previously could be achieved. Geomagic Control X also generates reports that clearly shows the deviations, with both dimensions and color comparisons.

Deviations in Geomagic Control X ModelClick to enlarge

TriMech’s Project Engineering Group effectively utilizes these two products along with several others to provide our clients with the best possible quality assurance standards. We work with our clients to provide them with the information they need to produce high quality products in a timely fashion.

Get in touch with TriMech’s Project Engineering Group if you’re in need of help at any part of your production lifecycle. Our team is here to help yours!

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John Baham

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