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3D Scanning Services

3D Scanning & Digital Modeling

3D scanning and digital modeling take all the guesswork and time-consuming parts out of reverse engineering. With our help, you can transform a warehouse of loose parts into an organized library of digital CAD files in a matter of weeks, instead of years.

3D scanning is a non-contact method of reverse engineering that doesn’t require a tape measure, caliper, or any work from your engineers. Instead, our experts will visit your site with our 3D scanning equipment, capture high-quality scans of your parts, and convert everything into a digital model.

This process saves a ton of time and money, and it results in more accurate CAD files that you can trust.

Our professional-grade 3D scanning services at CAD/CAM Services are among our most popular offerings. We have a lot of (very expensive) 3D scanners at our disposal. These scanners are expensive to own, and that makes them unviable for everyday engineering departments to have. Instead, you can leverage our equipment, experience, and staff to do all of the 3D scanning that your team requires.

3D scanning is very popular when it comes to reverse engineering any existing part. Our team can create a full 3D CAD model from a scanned point cloud in a fraction of the time it would take any team to physically measure and model the part.

In short, our 3D scanning services are here to save you time and money on every reverse engineering, modeling, and/or part digitization projects. If you have a physical part that you need a CAD model of, consider our outsourced 3D scanning service.

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What Is 3D Scanning & Digital Modeling? 

3D Scanning and digital modeling involve all of the steps required to take your existing parts and turn them into impressive 3D CAD files. 3D scanning is a high-tech device that takes millions of data points from your existing part, simply by pointing the scanner at the object.

These points are little dots floating in 3-dimensional space, called a “point cloud”. Our experienced engineers can turn that point cloud into a functional 3D CAD model of your part. 

This all falls under the umbrella of digital modeling. Our digital modeling services will create a library of parts in 3D CAD that you can use for sales, engineering support, installation packages, and many more applications.

Instead of going through your backroom of physical drawings, you can use your computer to open any digital version of your parts. 

Why 3D Scanning & Digital Modeling Matters

The result of your 3D scanning project heavily relies on the equipment, expertise, and business practices of the company you choose. Picking the wrong 3D scanning company will waste a lot of your time and money, and you’ll be left with digital models that are inaccurate and unreliable.

Instead, you can trust CAD/CAM Services and our 35+ years of experience. Not to mention we have over $2 million worth of 3D scanning equipment in-house.

With better scanners, better-trained engineers, and better reliability, the results will be… well, better! That’s why so many Fortune 500 companies have chosen CAD/CAM Services as their go-to 3D scanning company.

Benefits of 3D Scanning & Digital Modeling from CAD/CAM Services

Why have so many people chosen CAD/CAM Services for our top-notch 3D scanning and digital modeling services? There are too many benefits to count:

  • Faster results. Many people choose CAD/CAM Services just for our fast turnarounds. In a lot of cases, we can have finished parts delivered in as little as 48 hours. 
  • Better precision and accuracy. Our team never sacrifices on the quality of our digital models. Our equipment allows us to deliver accuracies as low as 0.005”. This translates to final CAD models that you can trust.
  • Leverage our expensive and impressive 3D scanners. We spent so much money on 3D scanners so you don’t have to. Instead of paying hundreds of thousands on your own scanner, you can simply leverage ours and let our 3D scanning experts handle your project. 
  • Fully digitize your inventory of parts. A digital inventory of parts can do so much more for you. With our help, you can streamline your manufacturing process, make it easier to share drawings, and update old designs with ease.  
  • Receive digital models that do more. Our digital models will be adjustable, which means that you can iterate on old designs or make small tweaks to your parts. We can include surface details and colors to ensure every digital model does even more for your company. 

What Goes Into 3D Scanning & Digital Modeling from CAD/CAM Services?

Our 3D scanning and digital modeling services always start with a consultation. This is usually a quick chat on the phone or in-person — you just have to tell us what you have, what you need, and what you’re looking for. From there, we can explain how CAD/CAM Services can help, plus answer any questions you may have.

For 3D scanning, our engineers will likely travel to your site with our fancy 3D scanners and equipment. We’ll handle all of the setup, scanning, point cloud generation, and CAD modeling for you.

In the end, you’ll receive a folder filled with digital files. You can do whatever you want with these files, because you own them completely. If you spot any issues, we’ll correct them ASAP and send back updated files.

More About 3D Scanning & Digital Modeling

3D scanning is the quickest way to reverse-engineer. It takes all the guesswork and potential issues out of reverse engineering a part. Instead of measuring, writing down numbers, and trying to make the part from scratch in CAD, we can do it all with a small handheld scanner and a laptop. 

We can 3D scan anything from a small fastener to a massive F-35 fighter jet — in fact, our team at CAD/CAM Services has successfully 3D scanned these two objects, plus countless others.

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Allow our team at CAD/CAM Services to help you save time and money on your digitization. Leverage our equipment and experience if you want faster 3D CAD files with fewer mistakes. All it takes is a quick phone call or email to get started.

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FAQ's

3D Scanning FAQs
How much does scanning services cost?

It depends on the complexity of the scanned model and material properties. As, for example, it may be much more complicated to properly scan an object with a reflective surface, than a non-reflective surface. It also depends on three main factors:

  1. the physical size of your part
  2. the required scanning resolution
  3. if industrial CT or metallurgy scanning is needed

Simple quick cell phone photos are worth a thousand words to us. To know for sure you can request a quote. It is of course, free – and treated as if an NDA is already in place.

Some averages:

  • The typical 3D scan is somewhere around $200-400 per part.
  • Tomographic (CT) scanning is $600-900 per part.

Because so much of our business is Aerospace related, our scanning – and the completed CAD file HAS to be within ±.005” anywhere on that part, we never use consumer-grade scanners. The scanners we use start at $25,000 and go up to $700,000 (CT) per scanner.

At any given time, we have in excess of $ 5 million just in scanning hardware we use. In addition, a hidden factor of scanning on any system is the assembly and clean up of any scan. The rule of thumb is a 2-1 ratio. So even with our experienced scanning staff, if we spend one-hour scanning; we will then spend an additional two hours of clean up and assembly before our CAD group gets the Point Cloud file to simulate or reverse engineer.

What is the Point Cloud/Mesh/3D Scan?

A point cloud is thousands if not millions of data points located in space by X, Y, Z coordinates. Images of this nature are often captured with Faro Focus or Artec scanners that specialize in large-area scanning.  Most likely you obtain building and territory plans in this file format.

A polygon mesh is a set of triangles located in the same manner. These scans are obtained with Artec, Creaform, Enscan and other handheld scanners. Parts and reverse engineering device scans are usually polygon meshes.

What types of scanners do you use?
  • Faro Arm – Very good for most parts, fast and accurate
  • Turntable scanners – high accuracy, high detail, fast scanning. Great for smaller parts.
  • Portable handheld – may be favorable for some larger parts – if not a tripod-mounted scanner.
  • Long Range – these mount on a tripod, and are intended to scan buildings, plants, and other larger sized projects.
  • Industrial CT scanners – incredibly expensive, but they offer two main benefits – the ability to inside an object (think of a void in a solid object), and their accuracy.  At this level, we are often in the ±.001” – ±.002” range, and often used in metrology scanning.

Which scanner models do you use?
How accurate is 3D scanning?

The scanners we use are as accurate as the industry offers – from anybody at any cost. We use Faro and Artec 3D scanners, in addition to Faro CMM type arms, including the Surveyor tables. Depending on what scanner we use:

  • CT scanners – 4 to 400µm/voxel resolution
  • Artec Portable scanners high accuracy (0.03 – 0.05mm)
  • Artec Portable scanners high resolution (up to 0.15mm)
  • Our CyberGage 360 – generates highly precise full 360 degrees automated scan with accuracy NIST traceable to approximately 7 microns
  • The CyberGage 360 has a system repeatability of ±.005mm.
Digitizing FAQs
What is the average raster to vector (R2V) 2-D conversion price?

The typical AEC D & E size sheet is $135. There are possible discounts depending on the job size. The more you convert the less you pay.  The bulk of the files we produce are for AutoCAD.

Creating models and drawings over scanned analog documents seem so easy – why such a low price?

In order to make an accurate representation, you have to calibrate the original drawing, which may have deformed during its storage period. Non-dimensioned mediums need to be thoroughly calibrated before digitizing.

Parts of scanned data may be lost due to time and other factors. Because it is important to recreate the design intent,  we need to recreate lost data.

You ONLY receive  Cad Perfect™ files – as if you had drawn these by hand.

Do you support BIM modeling?

Using Revit, yes we do.  Think of BIM as an intelligent 3D model of your building.  We know exactly where all of the HVAC is, IT cabling, electrical, the cost of doors and windows, when mechanical systems need to be serviced, all the way to a room number with a phone number and IP in that room. In addition to our Ray Tracing technology to support some very life-like photo renderings.


What is DHS – Critical Infrastructure Products

The Department of Homeland Security protocol  PPD-21 requirement has deemed that sixteen (16) industries and services are critical to our US Nations security.

These industries  require additional security protocols when creating CAD files. CAD / CAM Services follows all of these requirements. Think of industries and info structures such as power, water, along with fourteen (14) other industries.  For a full list please see Critical Infrastructure Products.

What is a “Calibrated” Mylar image?

Mylar films can be stored in climate-controlled facilities. However, films get skewed and change sizes over time – ironically not linear. So what changes on one end, does not apply to what is in the middle, or the other end.  We have seen ‘J’ size Aerospace Mylars (about 48×180”), vary by a full inch.

CAD/CAM Services utilizes a proprietary process to make Mylar raster images dead on a 5” or 10” grid. Our process was developed in conjunction with, and approved by Boeing engineers.

Reverse Engineering FAQs
What is the average price for Reverse Engineering?

It all depends on the part’s complexity, size and structure.

What do you guys need to provide me with accurate pricing?

We need to know whether you need your parts to be scanned by us. Or many times we can work with 3D scans provided by third-party companies.  The quality of the scan is everything in our business. Anyway, we strongly advise you to use us for both the scanning and the CAD conversion aspects.  That way, we can control the quality. Sometimes we receive poor quality scans which make it impossible to create truly Cad Perfect™ models for you.  By all means, send us a couple of even cell phone photos, and the rough size of the object.  Most of the time, this will provide us enough information to provide a real bid.

The price depends on the part complexity, size, as well as the target file parametres. We need to know whether you need full parametric models, and your desired accuracy. If you tell us the purpose of reverse-engineered models, we can often provide you with possible solutions. The target CAD software may change the price as well. This includes sophisticated Workstation add-on products such as Composites, Catia electrical wiring, mold design, and others.

What is the quality of reverse-engineered parts?

We can provide ±.005” aerospace quality for every model. CT scanned parts can have even higher precision up to ±.001”.

Digital Mockup (DMU) FAQs
Can you make me a cool part catalog?

You bet we can. We created millions of files for Amazon’s online catalog, so no doubt we can help you.  Click Link 1, Link 2 or Link 3 for some live Amazon examples. Simply select any file type from the list under the photo.

We directly support TraceParts.com, PartSolutions, GrabCAD, and several others.

What can you do to make a cool part catalog?

There are no limits to creative tasks. Contact us and we will work something out.  This includes part animation, expanded views, opening up assemblies, and full digital mock-ups.

Do you create scenarios for a video demonstration?

We can stage what you want, or propose to you with our exclusive cinematic masterpiece.