Reverse Engineering advice
Message 1 of 9
Anybody have experience using this with VX? Given VX's point cloud abilities and focus this product would seem like a good match value wise. I've seen some sample meshes from it and they are pretty clean and with a job I've got coming up it should pay for itself in one hit (in theory).
Message 2 of 9
I don't actually know of any VX Customers that use the NextEngine, it certainly looks like a good device.
I just read an article about a novel alternative that you might like to investigate too:
This is a hand-held device and Unimatic claim that it is "as simple as playing a torch over a target item".
Message 3 of 9
You should call NextEngine and ask them to email you a sample point cloud for trial import into VX. They should be happy to provide you with it.
The NextEngine will be a huge success because of it's ultra low price, VX should look into hopping on that train and make sure they are compatible with that technology.
Message 4 of 9
I've had this demoed at a recent show where they scanned a part in realtime, converted to stl, in realtime and exported to the 3D printer for replication. Very impressive stuff. I think the ZCorp is the same machine as the Unimatic version - just rebranded with different software.
The NextEngine is a solution at a price that is hard to beat. VX could bundle one with bespoke plug ins and still be cheaper than SolidWorks Base in the UK! (and of course you need the full price SW package to get the plug ins!).
Bob, if you don;t have one yet, give them a call!
Message 5 of 9
We are working on improvements to our Point Cloud tools and hope to have these improvements in place for VX v13. This will make VX work better with raw Point Cloud data from 3D Scans. Concerning the mesh data from NextEngine, if it is clean then it can at least be used to define an STL within VX. Much depends on what you need to do - if the data represents Objects that you need to design around without modifying them, the STL route is the winner. If on the other hand you wish to use the data as the basis for a design, what you really need is nurbs.
Message 6 of 9
Message 7 of 9
In short, yes. It has paid for itself about 2 x over in terms of a) time saved, b) ability to do the job without sub contracting c) reduction in reworking. That is in a 6 month time frame since May 2007 when it was purchased. Prior to this I had very limited experience of 3D scanning and now, well I think I know even less! The reason for the purchase was to be able to tackle a job for a regular customer involving the design of a plastic part to fit onto a ceramic part. The initial design was already agreed by the time I was brought in but I could see it was never going to work due to the mismatch of the tolerances between the ceramic and the plastic part. What I did was can about 10 samples of the ceramic part and overlay these against the plastic component design - I then tweaked the plastic part to fit the average ceramic part and produced an SLA. This demonstrated that the design was poor as the range of tolerances on the ceramic part was so wide that the plastic part would not fit all scenarios.
On that one job the scanner paid for itself.
I tend to use it for checking purposes like this - to prove out a design where it has to mate with something, rather than for freeform surfacing design (which I tend to prefer to do from sketches still). In that respect it is good enough for the job. The latest versions of the scanning software are also much better than the earlier versions - it is easier to align points and create datums.
I have used the scan data in VX and SolidWorks but am not really happy with either. I am experimenting with Rhino as this handles meshes very well and is easy to generate datums and section curves through the mesh. It also reads the Next Engine data directly. I would always opt for this over the SoldiWorks Scan to 3D option which I think is overpriced and not as functional as either the core VX offering or Rhino.
In short, yes very satisfied.
Message 8 of 9
Thanks for your info Kevin, I'm glad that it has worked out well for you.
I received some sample files from NextEngine back in May, but those were not so impressive. I think a meshing capability is important and it is something that VX Corp are looking at very carefully (re the T-Splines debate elsewhere on the forum). I hear though that the NextEngine software is now able to output nurbs surfaces, so that is getting interesting.
Message 9 of 9
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