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3D Scanning Services

3D Scanning for Engineering CNC Applications

Creating 2D manufacturing drawings for CNC-machined parts isn’t as easy as you might think. It becomes even more difficult if you have to reverse-engineer an existing part. You could easily spend days or weeks going through a manual reverse-engineering process, making the drawings, and then finalizing everything. 

Instead, you could streamline the whole process with 3D scanning. Our 3D Scanning for engineering CNC applications will save you time and take all the headaches out of reverse engineering. Instead of measuring, drawing, using CAD, and hoping for the best, allow our team to utilize our high-tech 3D scanners to do the full process without ever touching a tape measure or calipers.

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 for Engineering CNC Applications? 

3D scanners utilize light, lasers, or sound waves to bounce off of surfaces and record the reflection. Each reflection generates a tiny dot in 3-dimensional space. With enough of these dots, you can create a “point cloud” which shows the outside surface of the 3D-scanned part.

Our engineers take that point cloud and convert it into a functional 3D CAD model. The whole process can be done in a matter of hours or days for really large projects. Comparatively, you could spend weeks reverse engineering the same part.

The best part? We can use Design for Manufacturing (DFM) best practices to optimize each 3D-scanned part for CNC machining. The result is a set of 2D manufacturing drawings that are ready to be programmed in a CNC milling machine or lathe.

This simple difference can save you a lot of time and money in the machine shop. Our 3D scanning for engineering CNC application service is just one of many that are designed to help your engineering department. By outsourcing this work to CAD/CAM Services, you can save a ton of time and money.

Why 3D Scanning for Engineering CNC Matters

You might find some cheap outsourced 3D scanning companies that offer incredible turnarounds at unbelievable prices. When it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Those companies will use underpowered 3D scanners and untrained staff to try to struggle through the reverse engineering project. In the end, you’re left with unreliable 3D CAD files from a company that is looking to exploit you for money.

Alternatively, you can trust our experts at CAD/CAM Services. We’ve been doing this for over 35 years, and we have a staff of over 100 highly-trained engineers and drafters. We have specified 3D scanning experts who will help you through the full process.

In addition, we have over $2 million worth of 3D scanners from all of the best companies on the market.

When you combine these factors, you’ll find that CAD/CAM Services quickly becomes the best option for your 3D scanning needs.

Benefits of 3D Scanning for Engineering CNC Applications from CAD/CAM Services

We’ve completed millions of drawings during our 35+ years in business, and so many companies have picked us to be their go-to 3D scanning company. With us, you’ll notice a lot of major benefits:

  • Affordable pricing, with no surprises. We’re not here to trick you into signing a contract — all of our pricing is transparent and we’ll give you numbers upfront so you don’t have to guess or be surprised at the end.
  • Quick turnarounds. Our team of 100+ engineers and drafters works around the clock to offer 24/7 progress on your projects. This means that we can complete projects much faster than the other guys.
  • Knowledgeable and friendly staff. Our staff is highly trained, experienced, and knowledgeable. We’re here to help you, so ask any questions you might have and let our team make your life a little easier. 
  • Accuracy you can’t find elsewhere. Our really expensive 3D scanners offer accuracies that you can’t find anywhere else. This will give you more confidence in every 3D CAD model we create via 3D scanning.
  • Dozens of services to choose from. 3D scanning is just one of the dozens of services that we offer. We even offer custom services. We want you to consider CAD/CAM Services as your go-to company for any CAD or 3D scanning needs.

What Goes Into 3D Scanning for Engineering CNC from CAD/CAM Services?

Our 3D scanning for engineering CNC services depend on the scope of your project. Some companies just want a simple scan of a single part, and that’s perfectly okay. Others want us to 3D scan an entire aircraft and every subassembly under the hood — we’re happy with projects like this, too.

Since we’re so flexible, all of our projects start with a quick consultation. During this conversation, you’ll explain what you’re looking for and we’ll explain how we can help. With more transparency upfront, you’ll know exactly how CAD/CAM Services can help, and you’ll know what to expect.

Our engineers will get to work by 3D scanning your parts, generating point clouds, and converting those into manufacturable 3D CAD models. We can also generate 2D CAD drawings and optimize every part for CNC machining. Each drawing also goes through a series of peer reviews and quality checks to make sure everything is perfect before we send them to you.

Every file will be sent to you digitally, and you own the full rights to every design.

If you spot a problem, just let us know. We’ll make adjustments and send back drawings in as little as 24 hours. 

Get a Quote Today

When it comes to manufacturing parts using CNC applications, it’s important to have the right 2D and 3D CAD drawings. With CAD/CAM Services, we can expedite your reverse-engineering workflow and generate these drawings in a fraction of the time. With our help, you can start optimizing every part on your floor. Get a free quote today to get started, and schedule your consultation to see how CAD/CAM Services can help.

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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.

3D Modeling FAQs
How do you bill 3D CAD services tasks?

Per hour. Hourly rate depends on what CAD software used and typically starts at $75 per hour.  In general, to make this process safer for you, we often provide you a fixed not to exceed the cost as well.  That way, you are protected from an open-ended PO. However, the reality is our fees are based on time. In addition, services in say Catia or NX are more expensive than say Solidworks. Or, simulation services are commonly done by real engineers.

What do you need to give me accurate pricing?

First of all, we need to know the target CAD system and whether you have an existing  template, or set of CAD standards for this project.

The main question is the overall complexity. As each part and assembly consists of different features and elements the best way is to provide us with an example.  Again, a picture is worth a thousand words.

If you already have a model and need us to improve it or update it in any way we need to know which dimensions and features are critical and which can be modified to achieve your desired result.  Even a before and after example works very well. We started with x, and got to this CAD file.

We can also offer you better options if you provide us with the purpose of your project (demonstration, 3D printing, FEA Simulation, CNC manufacturing, etc.).  This helps us better refine the task.

How do you check your models?

We create 2D drawings from our 3D models for QC purposes. We follow aerospace standards and deliver ±.005” accuracy models for all projects.  All of our QC is done by a different person than the designer. On Catia work, we often use Q-Checker for Airbus.

What is the minimum price for your 3D modeling services?

We have a minimum order fee $150.

General CAD Questions
How do I send a sample, in order to get a quote?

Fill out our quote form, attach your files, or simply send us an email. Tell everything about your project, like the model purpose.

For smaller files < 15 MB you can simply email them to us.  For something larger, just drop them in any number of drop boxes like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and others.  Or if you would like, just contact us for a private, hardened link.

It is fine to use most any time of compression such as  *.zip, *.rar, *.tar, *.7z, *.arc, *.LBR, and even *.iso images.

A direct email is [email protected]

We also use a hardened OwnCloud web file sharing platform for unlimited file transfers. We provide unique and very private Web Storage Portals, this also supports file syncing for extreme convenience for you. Because so much of our work is DOD or weapons design work, Security – and confidentiality is very important to us.

Will CAD / CAM Services Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?

Yes. NDAs are a common part of our business. All data is yours – not ours, and treated as proprietary data and not for public consumption or use. Probably 70% of our work is under NDA agreements. We can generally get these signed within the day.

What is the estimated delivery time?

It depends on the scope of work:

  • 2D drawings – small quantity, normally 48 hours.  We have several customers where they contract to us, keeping 4-8 drafters busy full time.
  • 3D models – complexity dependent, but smaller jobs in 2-3 days. Some models we have spent months on.  Again, we have several customers where they contract to us, keeping 6-10 3D CAD designers busy full time.

Simple jobs have a lead time of 48 hours. Larger projects are delivered and invoiced weekly.

Did you really own the trademark Cad Perfect™, Cad Perfect CAD Conversions™ and Cad / Cam Services™?

Yes, we did back in 2008. We started using Cad Perfect™ back in the early 1990s because all of our customers wanted only real Cad Perfect™ work. Back then the buzz words were terms like machine ready, or DXF Traceover and others.

The problem is, nobody wanted that. They all wanted drawings and models that they did not have to touch. Everybody wanted drawings just as if they hand redrew the work themselves.

Thus, Cad / Cam Services™ was the first company to start offering ONLY Cad Perfect™ work.

Do you support the PPD-21 Directive?

Yes we do, and have now for several years. In addition, we also support the industry specific plans as well.