Our industrial way of life has revolved around giant centralized factories for more than a century now. Huge machines have been churning out mass-produced items on assembly lines since the second industrial revolution and it has become a part of the industrial standard. But what if we could skip this entire process in our own homes or businesses, saving costs, and becoming more efficient with the same or even better quality as it has been done in the most advanced state-of-the-art factories on earth?
We are at the very verge of a digital manufacturing revolution that will change how everything is done and conceived. This has been going on since the late 90’s and it has continued to grow to the point where the technology now allows us to be our own manufacturer. At FARO we are proud to be part of this exciting revolution!
The 3-D manufacturing process is mainly defined by the development of a Computer Aided Design (CAD) through software which is sent to a 3-D printer which builds successive layers of the product using powder, molten plastic, or metals to create the part itself.
So where does FARO fall in this process?
FARO prides itself in being the world’s best-selling measurement arm. The FaroArm™ is a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) that allows measuring parts in a very accurate fashion (less than two thousandths of an inch). The arm can also have a Laser Line Probe™ adapted to it to perform a laser scan on a part and thus, creating a 3D CAD model of it. The conjunction of the arm and the laser probe is called the FARO ScanArm™.
The idea behind the technology is to be able to reverse engineer a part to create a 3D model. This would then be manipulated in CAD software to generate a model or to improve/modify a previous design. The accuracy of the ScanArm is ±35µm and is a non-contact measuring device since it uses a laser to acquire the data through laser triangulation. Laser triangulation is accomplished by projecting a laser line onto an object and then capturing its reflection with a sensor located at a known distance from the laser’s source. This will in turn report XYZ data based on the overall Coordinate System of the arm, which is referenced by several rotational encoders located in its articulations. As the arm scans, it is capturing thousands of points at a rate of 45,120 pts/sec and in turn generates a 3D model with hundreds of thousands of XYZ points. Once the model is created we can move onto the next step in the process which is the manipulation of the data through software. When it is ready, it can then be sent to a 3D printer to finally create the part.
The future is now!
The sooner we learn to take advantage of this amazing technology, the more prepared we will be when it becomes the new standard.
To learn more about the FARO Laser ScanArm, please fill out the form below: