IDEA – CONCEPT PHASE
Use physical objects to conceptualise the idea; this is typically done by an industrial designer in clay lead design or foam lead design. 3D scanning can also be applied at the idea concept phase by digitising objects, then using them as renderings in concept illustrations.
3D scanning can be applied at the design phase by starting with a physical object and using it to design a CAD model. Oftentimes, designers need to design around or fit their design to existing objects. These mating parts can also be scanned and incorporated into the design, resulting in parts that fit better on a consistent basis.
By using 3D scan data, a physical object can be translated directly to the engineering phase of a project and moved on from there. 3D scan data is often used to perform CFD, CAE, FEA and other engineering analysis on objects that have been manufactured and then physically modified.
3D scanning can be used to capture changes to tooling or parts that occur on the shop floor. Tooling is often "hand tuned" to achieve the final desired look and finish of a part. Using 3D scanning, hand modifications and optimisations can be transferred from tool to tool to ensure all manufactured parts match after production.
3D Scanning is used to analyse the "as-built" condition of parts after they have been manufactured. Typically, non-contact technology is used to quickly inspect the overall shape and size of parts, quickly detecting issues such as part warpage or overall scale issues.