3D Scanning Using Liquid

3d scanning

Most time we hear the word “breakthroughs” we get excited, but when someone says “breakthrough of a breakthrough”, were talking awesome stuff!  Well, here is some awesome stuff. Developers in 3D scanning have come up with an awesome new way to scan objects. It is a method that can sneak into those hidden areas that common scanners can’t. This scanning method takes an age old concept and harnesses it for scaling some difficult barriers in reconstruction of 3D shapes when scanning. This method utilized the liquid displacement of an object in water to calculate shape; even shape of parts that cannot be reached by other commonly used scanners.

Most 3D scanning services use some type of optical scanner to acquire shape of an object. Although these traditional camera scanners and laser scanners can give an accurate scan of the visible portion of an object, they still have some inadequacies.  These traditional scanners have blind spots.  There are hidden areas that the scanner cannot reach. For example, the optic scanner cannot reach the bottom side of a vase.

how does 3D scanning with liquid work?

The utilization of liquid to rebuild a 3D shape solves this problem because it does not need perfect line of vision.  The liquid works by calculating liquid displacement instead of laser. It works by engineers slightly submerging the object in a liquid and then measuring how much volume of the liquid is displaced. The volume of each dip displaced is called a sample, and so samples are taken from different angles. With all of the displacement data, engineers can figure out the shape of the object. This method allow them to access those spots that are difficult to access with other scanning methods.

advantages and disadvantages

This method also has some advantages worth noting.  It doesn’t require all the troublesome safety measures that other methods require, and it doesn’t cost much to operate.  

And of course, to be fair, we must mention some disadvantages.  After all, no 3D scanning technique is perfect. First of all, it is not a speedy operation. Plus, there are a few shapes that tend to throw it off like cap-like concave shapes.  But these are things that scientists and 3D scanning services are bound to get smoothed out. 

If we can make progress on this method of 3D scanning, there may be potential for combining scanned data from a variety of sources. For examples, a section of the object being scanned could be done using a laser scanning device, if it was deemed more easily done using that method.  Another section of the object may be a little more difficult to scan, so they my need to use a dip into liquid method.  Once these two parts have been scanned, the two sets of data could be stitched together using computer software to reconstruct the entire part. 

I don’t know what you think, but to me this is all cool beans.  I am always looking to learn what new breakthrough technologies are popping up.  This is one technology that I think has some good potential! 


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