Delcam has made a commitment to reverse engineering technology, offering a broad range of software tools, with its two key products being CopyCAD and DigiCAM. CopyCAD produces high quality CAD surfaces from digitised data, while DigiCAM provides complete tools for creating surfaces, modifying the resultant CAD model and producing toolpaths.
CopyCAD accepts data from co-ordinate measuring machines, tracing machines or laser scanners, and outputs surfaces that can be transferred into all major CAD systems. Its potential applications span the reverse engineering market and include creating CAD models from physical models for analysis and engineering operations, generating surface data from prototype parts for manufacture later, and capturing data for computer visualisation and animation.
3D Scanners’ ModelMaker comprises a hand-held triangulation laser mounted on a portable localiser system. The operator can orientate the laser stripe sensor with 6 degrees of freedom relative to the position localiser, avoiding occlusion or shadowing. PC based software combines the data simultaneously collected by the laser and localiser and produces the 3D data cloud. The user simply moves the sensor over the objects surface as if spray painting.
LK’s new Micromeasure optical freeform scanner dispenses with physical reference points. Using, widely available, high specification hardware and satellite technology, Micromeasure precisely aligns point clouds to produce a true image of the shape. Consequently the system is available for reverse engineering applications.
Collection of co-ordinates from the physical model is achieved by triangulation using a laser light source and a matrix of CCD cameras for detecting the reflected beam. Micromeasure is able to measure 14,000 points per second, giving an information density around 1,000 times greater than is possible with contact systems. The rapidly gathered data is fed continuously to the hard disc of an on-line PC where ‘patch matching’ capabilities within the software convert the co-ordinates into a defined surface.
Data on each measurement does not appear initially on the computer screen as a discrete co-ordinate, but as a cloud of points. These are matched in correct sequence to build up a complete image of the object. Spacing where measurements overlap is decreased to align precisely the point clouds.
LK has also launched a new CAMIO software module for reverse engineering applications. The software works in conjunction with standard probing equipment on a CMM, allowing the component to be digitised and converted into a solid CAD model.