Check it Out
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
One of things that gets lost when you're talking about scanners with folks who have not had much experience with them (say, the people who authorize expenditures, if you catch my meaning) is just how versatile these devices can be. These folks are often aware that scanners are good for jobs like reverse engineering, first article inspection, and archiving, but sometimes that seems more keyword recognition than anything else. Well, here's something you should have them check out.
The folks at Z Corporation rolled out color models of their ZScanner 700 hand-held scanner series a few months back at SolidWorks World. Color hand-held scanners kind of figures, of course. Z Corporation has been way ahead of the pack when it comes to color 3D printing, so why not scanning? But that's not why I'm recommending this video.
You see, somebody came up with the idea of making a video showcasing the ZScanner 700 series. Now, here's the interesting thing. I have no proof, but I think that the engineers at Z Corporation stole this marketing project from the marketing people. This is a video that a bunch of engineers would put together to get their bosses to see the value of hand-held scanning. You can see where marketing put its foot down and demanded marketing stuff — you know, screens on Z Corporation's markets and users. Most of this is at the beginning and end.
Anyway, this video offers some of the coolest examples of scanning around. It clearly demonstrates just how scanning fits in and expands the opportunities of engineering environments where reverse engineering, ergonomic design, orthotic design, and the like are the key concerns. The video explains the differences between fixed and portable scanning — scanning with the aid of CMMs, for example — and hand-held scanning. The latter, of course, gets the video back to where the marketing people managed to slip in few of their sound bites. But even then, this remains an engineer's presentation. You get a discussion why auto-positioning of CCD cameras, real-time surfacing, accuracy, and other functionality that perks up the engineer's ears are important to you and your company.
The CFO will get it. He or she has a tough job right now, and so do you. But if you ever needed an argument that revealed the unlimited horizons scanning brings to the engineering team, Z Corporation's "Introduction to Portable 3D Scanning" is it. Check it out here. It's about 40 minutes, so get a pizza or something, have lunch with the bosses, and educate them.
Thanks, Pal — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine