Holocreators Blog

On the Holocreators Blog, you will find posts about 3D-scanning and reverse engineering. Post topics range from explanations and tutorials to art projects. We illuminate topics from various angles, often with video.
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With the help of specialized 3D scanners, you can 3D-scan people and animals. This allows you to create 3D models that can be 3D-printed or used for 3D animation. We'll show you three different devices that make such 3D scans possible.
Kitbashing is associated with model making. It is composed of the words "Kit" and "Bashing". “Kit” refers to "model kit". So, when a model maker is "kitbashing", he blends parts from different model kits. Similar to a collage. The model maker combines several individual models into an entirely new model.
A NURBS model consists of points connected by curves. A polygon mesh consists of thousands or millions of small triangles. CAD surface models are usually created using NURBS surfaces, while 3D scans are typically exported as a polygon mesh. The conversion from a polygon mesh to a NURBS model is called "reverse engineering".
Reverse engineering enables us to create a copy of an object. For this purpose, the part is 3Dscanned, then the 3D scan data is converted into a CAD format, and finally, the part is manufactured. All these steps result in noticeable deviations. If an error adds up over multiple steps, then we call this error propagation.
Swann Rack from Holocreators gave a presentation on reverse engineering at the Rapid.tech 3D Congress 2018. Reverse engineering allows an object to be reproduced using 3D scanning and subsequent conversion into a CAD format. In his presentation, Swann Rack talked about the different 3D scanning techniques and how the reverse engineering process works.
We digitally repaired the broken clothes rail holder of an IKEA closet and then 3D-printed it in plastic. We first 3D-scanned the original broken part using a 3D CT scanner (computed tomography 3D scanner). Afterward, we reconstructed the 3D scan using reverse engineering and thus repaired it. The finished file was 3D-printed inside a laser sintering 3D printer.

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    In e-commerce, product returns and conversion rates are crucial. 3D models better communicate the product to the customer, making the shopping experience more exciting and the online shop more efficient. For a 3D online shop, 3D models of all products are needed. These can either be 3D modeled from scratch or created more cost-effectively and truer-to-life with 3D scanning.
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    Using free software, we can convert a 3D scan (STL) into a CAD format (STEP). This process is called reverse engineering. We will reconstruct a solid model based on a 3D scan. This is not an automatic process, but a manual reconstruction. For this tutorial, we will use Netfabb (version 7.4.0) or Netfabb (current version) to measure the 3D scan. And the current version of FreeCAD (free CAD software) to redesign the part in CAD.
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    SLM is a 3D printing process in which metal powder is fused by laser, creating a new object layer by layer. SLM stands for (Selective Laser Melting), which means that the laser selectively melts the metal powder only where the solid material is needed. In the end, the finished object can be removed from the powder bed.
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    At Vitronic in Wiesbaden, we tested the 3D body scanner "Vitronic Vitus". This body scanner was developed primarily for the clothing industry to capture people’s body measurements quickly. Besides body measurements, this 3D scanner also captures color information, and thus, established itself for creating 3D figures.
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    There is a niche field of forensics that deals specifically with crimes committed with firearms. Forensic ballistics, as this field is known, uses forensic techniques to analyze crimes perpetrated using firearms. The 3D scanner Alicona InfiniteFocus can be used for forensic ballistics. We made our way to Braunschweig to the company “a3Ds” to show how this can be done. By comparing 3Dscanned fired cartridges, we can match them to the rifles that fired them.

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