Measuring Soft Components with a 3D Scanner

As a non-contact measurement solution, a 3D scanner excels at measuring soft components, such as rubber seals or foam parts. Automated 3D scanners offer a fast, accurate, and non-invasive way to scan even the most complex flexible shapes.

Fast and Accurate

Soft and flexible parts can be difficult to measure with traditional tools since the part can be easily deformed during the measurement process (e.g. using a coordinate-measuring machine), or can prove too difficult to stabilize for accurate measurement by hand (e.g. calipers).

A 3D laser scanner, however, does not come into contact with the object and can capture every feature of a flexible component. The resulting “cloud” of points can then be automatically measured and compared directly to CAD using specialized analysis software. In addition, the same scan data can be used for archival purposes or used within CAD or CAM software.

Best of all, no complicated fixture is needed to hang or hold a part in place for a 3D laser scanner to operate. Flexible parts can simply be placed on the machine’s turntable and scanned in a matter of minutes.

Video: Watch how an automated 3D scanner works >>

Shapegrabber 3D Scanner Benefits

Shapegrabber’s automated 3D laser scanner technology is well proven for measuring soft components because:

  • It’s non-contact. The part is not touched or deformed in any way during the scanning process.
  • It handles complex shapes. Curves and multiple features aren’t a problem.
  • It’s fast. You don’t need to rely on a few sample points collected with calipers or a slow CMM. 3D scanners capture millions of data points in minutes.

To determine whether a Shapegrabber 3D scanner is right for your soft or flexible part, please contact us for an assessment or free part scan.