Feb 16, 2018 | By Benedict

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD have developed a new industry 4.0 3D scanner and view planning system that autonomously scans objects while determining their 3D printability in real time.

A large portion of Europe’s most exciting technology research comes from Germany’s various Fraunhofer research institutes, and today sees an especially exciting new project from the organization’s Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD.

Researchers there have devised an autonomous 3D scanner with a robotic arm that scans an object with the minimum number of movements possible, providing real-time conclusions about how that object can be 3D printed.

“The special thing about our system is that it scans components autonomously and in real time,” says Pedro Santos, department head at Fraunhofer IGD.

The exciting new 3D scanning system uses a robotic arm that moves the scanner around the component, capturing its entire geometry with the minimum number of movements. This can take a few minutes, or even just a few seconds, depending on the size of the object.

But there’s much more to the system than simply mounting a scanner on a robot arm. While the scan is running, intelligent algorithms create a three-dimensional image of the object in the background, in real time.

(Images: Fraunhofer IGD)

A material simulation of this generated 3D image then checks whether the process of 3D printing could satisfy the relevant stability requirements of the part.

Finally, a separate 3D printer is used to 3D print a replica of the original 3D scanned part.

The unique selling point of the 3D scanning and printing system is its autonomy: the view planning technology means the 3D scanning can take place in as short a time as possible, even on new objects it has never scanned before.

“Our scan system is able to measure any component, irrespective of its design—and you don’t have to teach it,” Santos says. “Also, you don’t need information about CAD models or templates. In other words, the specifications of standard forms that a component usually has.”

Fraunhofer IGD has already tested the system with various car parts, but its industry 4.0 uses in factories of the future could be limitless.

At the end of January, the Fraunhofer Society acquired Laser Zentrum Nord as part of a huge additive manufacturing investment from the city of Hamburg.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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