Good Support Helps New 3D Scanner Owner

Recently, I purchased a used 3D Digital Escan Laser 3D Scanner from a popular auction website. To my surprise, it did not come with software and there was no way to find out if the scanner worked. I asked the seller for the software, which he promised to send, but never did. Because of their policy, the auction website, payment system and their insurance claim department would not help me to get a refund. It seems that I was stuck with a useless scanner and no software to run it.

I finally contacted 3D Digital Corp and explained my situation. By that point, I was expecting to pay a large sum for support and for the software, as anyone would expect trying to obtain specific software for a used piece of high-end equipment. To my surprise I received a call directly from the company President, who was concerned about what had happened. Over the next several days, he made a series of personal calls to me to make sure he understood what exactly had happened, and assured me he would do all he could to try to and find the necessary archived files needed since this was an older scanner.

He also made me aware that because it was a used scanner he could not guarantee anything and 3D Digital Corp would not be liable which was fully expected in this situation. To be honest I thought this purchase was going to be an expensive mistake on my part. To my surprise though, several days later I was sent the working software I needed and I now have a scanner that operates perfectly! This Escan is one generation old and still gives better results then competitor scanners that I have used!

I wish to thank everyone at 3D Digital Corp for the help and understanding to make a bad situation turn out great. All of you went above and beyond what I expected! Thanks again!

Leed Gold Certified School in Florida teaches Reverse Engineering with 3D Scanner

We run a CNC and Drafting program at Suncoast High School in Florida. We pride ourselves in teaching information about up-to-date technologies. We wanted to expand our programs to include reverse engineering, so we chose to start by getting a 3D laser scanner.

We purchased the 3DD Corp Escan 3D Scanner from a reseller. We did not have too much trouble in setting it up and getting our first scans. During this first year, we were very satisfied with just scanning an object, and viewing the drawing. We gave each of our 30 students a chance to scan something. Some scanned another student’s face. At this stage, the excitement seemed to be limited to this fascination. They did learn a great deal about 3 dimensional space and how to represent that in CAD Drawing system. We wanted to teach more.

Some scanned another student's faceWe chose to continue the development of the learning experience with the scanner. We set a goal to expect that a quality scan of an object could be used to manufacture something. We wanted to make the scan into an appropriate drawing, convert and use that drawing in creating a set of CNC steps.

We attempted to contact the original reseller to help us to select software that help us with our teaching goals. Time had passed and we no longer had support. They offered to sell us a maintenance and support contract.

So we contacted the people at the 3D Digital Corp. The met us with enthusiastic support at no cost. First, they recommended affordable software that can convert the scans to create the surface models that we needed for our CNC machine. They helped us in improving our scans, to make it more useful. They provided us with a Webinar to teach us more about how to use the scanner better and the software to make all of the conversions.

These drawings can be converted for use in our CNC milling machinesWe are now teaching a more soup to nuts course in Reverse Engineering at the high school level. Our first class contained 25 eager students. We can teach our students to use their imagination. They can develop a concept from an existing 3D object and scan it. They can modify those drawings to fit their new idea. These drawings can be converted for use in our CNC milling machines and create that product idea into reality.

Students also learned more about a manufacturing process that involves tolerances and manufacturing quality. This kind of teaching provides more than a theory of manufacturing, but a real working environment that is exciting to a student.

Richard Filsinger
Drafting, CNC
Reverse Engineering Classes
Suncoast High School, Florida



Science of Human Vision Investigated at Johns Hopkins Using 3DD Optix

The achievements in robotics and artificial intelligence we have seen in recent times are inspiring. However, scientists remain at a very early stage in our attempt to replicate the human visual system in machines. As a fellow in the Mind-Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins Medical School, I have been specializing in the neuroscience of vision, lately with the help of 3D digital scanning and the Optix hardware and software we acquired from 3D Digital Corp.

At a point in our research into this subject, a colleague and I began researching 3D laser scanning with great anticipation at what it could provide. Neither of us had experience or background in 3D scanning, so we took some time to study the market and the various vendors. We came upon options that seemed to provide what we needed, but at a purchase price that was far beyond our budget. We also looked at 3D scanners that were affordable, but not adequate for our needs. Finally my lab manager and I took a look at 3D Digital Corp., and were encouraged by the combination of price and technical sophistication in both the eScan and Optix units. We visited the company headquarters for a demonstration and learned a good deal. Soon after, there was a more formal presentation and training session at our lab in Baltimore, using the Optix model we selected.

For reasons of non-disclosure that are routine prior to completion of experiments and publication of the results, it isn’t possible to share many details of the research work we’ve done using 3D scanning. In general, it involves the elements of visual neuroscience that allow shape recognition and object perception in the higher visual centers of the brain. The application of advanced technology that could be developed from work like ours is, in the best-case scenario, dramatic and valuable. It involves computers and robots attaining much more human-like capacity for recognition and response to objects, for example in micro-surgery. The field is still at an incipient stage—it is agreed that large rooms filled with mainframe computers still cannot match the acuity and capacity found in the brain of a normal three-year-old human.

Our first field work took us to the Walters Art Museum, to scan an abstract sculpture. We performed the scan and imported our file using the SLIM software. The museum was very cooperative, but it was made clear to us that a limited time slot would be available. We had to capture and import our files in one attempt, which we were very pleased to be able to do. The consults and training we received from 3D Digital engineers made it possible for us to achieve our goal in one shot.