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Soft Air USA has reduced the time required to get its licensed replica airsoft guns to market by four to six weeks by using NVision’s laser scanning service bureau to reverse engineer the real guns.

Soft Air USA is a subsidiary of Cybergun SA, a manufacturer of replica airsoft guns.

Many of the Soft Air USA products are used by the military and law enforcement for training exercises.

Soft Air USA has licenses from gun manufacturers such as Smith and Wesson, Colt, Sig Sauer, IMI (Uzi), Mauser, Thompson and Kalashnikov.

The company uses contract manufacturers located in Asia to build the airsoft guns.

Regulations in both the US and the Asian countries make it virtually impossible to ship the guns to Asia.

In the past, the contract manufacturers would send people to the US to make silicone casts of the guns.

They took the casts back to Asia and used them as models to make injection moulds to produce the replica airsoft guns.

Now, NVision’s laser scanning service bureau uses laser scanning to produce a computer- aided design (CAD) file of the gun’s geometry.

‘Laser scanning helps us get our guns to market faster, which typically results in a 25 per cent increase in the revenues generated by each product,’ said John Steele, president of Soft Air USA.

Laser scanning works by projecting a line of laser light onto the surfaces to be measured, while a camera continuously triangulates the changing distance and profile of the laser line as it sweeps along.

A computer translates the video image of the line into accurate 3D coordinates of the geometry of the object being scanned.

NVision technicians create a point cloud consisting of millions of points and then use special software to automatically generate a surface model of the part through the point cloud.

The resulting CAD file is sent to Soft Air USA.

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