Re: Digitising/reverse engineering

From: Jim Rollins (
Date: Thu Jun 19 1997 - 17:40:17 EEST

John, have you looked into Industrial X-Ray CT? SMS makes the machines
as well as operates a service bureau to nothing but scanning for reverse
engineering, flaw detection, metrology....etc. With x-ray you are able
to see the inside as well as the outside with very little intervention.
Another fascinating spin-off of uses is taking full CT data and making a
digital image that can be transformed into a viewable MPEG file.

These days we see a lot of the work coming from companies that still
have or believe that they can create complex or ergonomic shapes faster
using clay bucks or hand modeling. They see imediate results when
changes are asked to be made for style purposes and when satisfied with
the look, they have the item scanned in to digital form. They choose
x-ray to examine the different density values of the clay and and the
"work-up base material", so they can extract only the desired or
necessary material for the tool path.

Another interesting application that is used from the CT data culminates
from an ATP program that SMS is participating in. Since x-ray captures
the entire cross sectional analysis of the object, and reports this in
24 bit gray scale information, this can dynamically interface with FEA.
Instead of theoretically imposing artificial estimates on a structure or
part to help you guess what the inside composition of the part looks
like, the true information, up to grain structure, is reported by using

Today we see many companies like Imageware taking the lead in acquiesce
this reported data from CT and lasers. We have also seen the major 3D
modeling packages wake up to the customers needs and wants and interface
directly with point cloud data. There has also been the multiuse of the
stl file that has given life to new interfaces like stl to FEA and CNC.
I have also seen where a full CT volume when we scanned a life-cycled
engine block and through virtual reality, a human virtual fly-through
was implemented to observe wear characteristics frst hand.

I wonder if Clint at Sandia's VR lab is using any of these techniques?


Jim Rollins          
Dir. Scanning Services 
Scientific Measurement Systems (SMS)
2210 Denton Drive
Suite 106
Austin, Texas 78758

Tel# 512-837-4712 xt 519 Fax# 512-837-9082

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