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New 3D scanner to prototype lab

Published: 9 January 2013

Luleå University of Technology has been enhanced with a 3D scanner that will primarily be used by students in Industrial Design Engineering. The price tag of 350 000 SEK provides a device that is one of the better of its kind.

– My guess is that there are only a few 3D scanners of this type in Sweden. Not all universities have access to a piece of equipment like this, says Anders Berglund, who among other things teaches in courses for advanced 3D visualization and model making.

The design process which students in Industrial Design Engineering often goes through usually starts with an idea and a sketch. Then are physical models built by clay or other materials. This helps the designer to create a sense of shape and function. After that are the models often digitized using measurement or 3D scanning equipment.

When Anders Berglund demonstrates the 3D scanner he uses a clay model* of a self-propelled vacuum cleaner as a basis. The 3D scanner "communicates" with sticker-markers that are placed on the clay model. Using three cameras and a laser is the surface scanned and a digital model is built step by step on screen.

The digital model can then be used as the basis for the final and mathematically precise CAD model needed to manufacture a product. 3D scanning helps to speed up the design process and is often used by companies in product development.

* The clay model is the result of a student work where the task was to design a vacuum cleaner from an existing company' and their design language.