Your Molds and Dies are critical to your business. They were meticulously created and iteratively tuned until the parts they produce are within specification. At that point, they were put into production and no documentation of the final tuned geometry was captured. This is actually the standard operating procedure for most of the world. The problem occurs when a part gets stuck and the equipment is cycled again and the tool cracks! Now you are stuck with having to go through the entire tuning process again. Or are you? With laser scanning and structured light scanning you may be in luck.
Many measurement and reverse engineering requirements require more than simple caliper or micrometer measurements. Whether you are conducting a First Article Inspection (FAI), troubleshooting a manufacturing issue or reverse engineering a legacy part for improvements, one or multiple of the modern data collection methods may work – but what is best and what are you compromising on by using any particular method? Do you do this work yourself or hire out an experienced service provider?
Non-contact or touchless dimensional measurement devices are the modern new comer to an array of contact devices that have been traditionally used. Contact devices are discussed in this link on Common Contact Measurement Devices. All of the non-contact devices generate a point cloud or voxel data set as their most raw form of data. The exception is the optical comparator which has been around since the late 1920s. It does not expressly produce digital data, but some of the variant equipment that evolved from this equipment does.
Traditional FAI & PPAP
Traditionally FAI (First Article Inspection) and PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) inspections include a complete look at all the print dimensions. A typical dimension may take 10-minutes to fully program, collect the data and report using traditional methods. Because prints can easily have between 150 to 1,000 dimensions, this becomes a significant time and resource constraint for many projects.
When it comes to engineering services, we know there are many options to consider. To better explain how our services compare to the competition, we created a video that answers the question:
What differentiates 3D Engineering Solutions from scanning bureaus?
3D Engineering Solutions was recently hired to re-engineer military aircraft components, including parts for large helicopters and jets.