There are a variety of options available for accurate physical measurement of objects using 3D sensing technology. Each one offers their advantages, so deciding which is the best typically depends on the application in individual situations.
Accuracy is considered the most important factor of any 3D scanning system. It allows everyone from designers to engineers to researchers to determine the accurate measurement of physical prototypes and existing objects, providing vital data that determines how it performed and what adjustments are required during design revisions.
Here are some of the best options for accurate physical measurement using 3D sensing technology:
3D Laser Light Scanning
One of two widely used 3D scanning technology, 3D laser light scanning is the process of capturing the geometrical surface of physical objects. It works by projecting millions of data points that produce what is known as a point cloud.
This effectively digitises the object and provides accurate data on its physical measurements. In using this accurate form of measurement, the data gathered remains very close to the original object that was scanned, allowing for more efficiency during design, inspection, manufacturing, quality inspection, testing etc.
3D Laster light scanning is one of the more cost-effective options for accurate physical measurement. It’s also very fast due to the lasers only scanning over the object once. While it’s not the most accurate option available, it does offer an affordable option and is suitable for many applications (e.g. artistic) where accuracy is not as consequential.
3D Structured Light Scanning
Another form of 3D scanning technology, 3d structured light scanning differs from laser light scanning in that it measures an object using multiple phase-shifting patterns via light projection onto the object.
As different light patterns are scanned across an entire object, it produces an accurate 3D image that can be up to sub-thousands of an inch of the original object, while also providing high resolution of the object.
Also, structured light scanning remains highly accurate regardless of lighting conditions when blue lights are used, as this collects data on a shorter wavelength to eliminate noise that can reduce accuracy.
This makes 3D structured light scanning more accurate than 3d Laster light scanning but also more expensive. It’s easily the best option for accurate measurement on most physical objects, especially those with awkward geometric surface areas.
Rather than using lasers to capture millions of data points, photogrammetry is the process of using digital photographs of an object to obtain accurate physical measurement. This involves taking multiple overlapping digital photos taken from various angles, which are then reconstructed into a 3D model of the object using special software.
The photos then overlay on the 3D model to determine the accuracy of the physical measurement. While not as accurate as other 3D laser scanning technologies, photogrammetry remains a very affordable alternative and suitable for capturing accurate physical measurement on many objects.