June 2023 Stats
Work In Progress
Welcome to this month’s newsletter. It’s been a busy few weeks with a steady flow of jobs. We enjoyed visiting a manufacturer on behalf of a client. Direct conversation is proving to be beneficial for all. We know exactly what is required firsthand and could answer questions there and then. We’re also looking forward to a site visit for the final installation of a project we’ve been working on next week. Other recent jobs include:
- Concept design for High-End Consumer Products
- 3D Scanning handcrafted parts to aid high-volume manufacture
- Animation that explains the use of an innovative, first-to-market device
- Industrial equipment for a local manufacturing company
- Design resources for clients in multiple, diverse industries
Happy 6th Birthday to us!
June marked our sixth year in business. Thank you to everyone who has supported White Horse CAD in reaching this milestone. How did White Horse CAD get started?
Following a successful career in hands-on engineering and senior design manufacturing, White Horse CAD founder Tim Bird decided to pursue his dream of running his own engineering company. White Horse CAD was formed in 2017 to deliver high-quality CAD and mechanical design services.
Reflecting on the past 12 months, Tim Bird says, “It’s been a significant year of growth for the business, completing a record number of jobs and successfully employing our trainee engineer Luke to help with the workload. The projects continue to vary, from bespoke architectural water features to first-to-market scientific eyewear to concept designs for a Higher Education Research Department. To ensure our designs are of the best quality, we’ve also invested in the latest software (SolidWorks) and 3D printing equipment.
Our recent move into the Phipps office gives us more much-needed space, and we’re delighted to stay at Heywood House. Another highlight was supporting the Westbury Soapbox Derby again to promote STEM at an enjoyable local event. Thank you to all our clients for making us their first design choice.”
Enter our birthday competition for a chance to win tickets to STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway.
Closing date midday on 14th July 2023.
Myth Buster – 3D Scanning
Let us begin with 3D Scanning is a fantastic technology. It aids Reverse Engineering of complex or obsolete parts, plus it’s relatively quick and cost-effective. Yet, it’s our most misunderstood service as it doesn’t do what people think it does.
So what is 3D Scanning?
It’s a process that involves capturing the shape and appearance of objects and converting them into digital models. The 3D Scanning process typically has three main steps. To understand the process, it’s important to note we do have 3D CAD data even after completing all three stages. Read on to find out why and what the output will be…
Using a 3D scanner, we capture the geometry and texture of an object. Each object likely being scanned will require multiple data sets to allow us to create a 3D image of the part.
The data acquired by multiple 3D scans will be orientated, aligned and trimmed to give the best possible approximation of the scanned part.
We decide on the data type output. The options are either:
- Watertight Data
- Raw Data
Firstly, the Data Acquisition step. The thing to realise is that 3D Scanners can’t always see what we can see. They can see well-defined shapes and curved surfaces, but some limitations exist. Fortunately, we have high-quality scanners and solutions to overcome some of these:
- Predominantly flat items may be difficult to scan
We can add marker features to the part making scanning easier
- Black or reflective surfaces will be difficult to scan
We can apply a conformal coating, which evaporates fully over a few hours if required
- Small holes and sharp internal corners (Vee’s) are difficult to scan
- Small items (less than 30mm cubed) are difficult/impossible to scan
The data is manipulated and ready for the Data Output step during the Data Processing step. How we progress once we have processed the scan data depends on the requirement. It is important to realise that we do not have “CAD Data” at this point.
If the part has scanned well with no “holes” in the scan data, we can output a Watertight STL or OBJ file. Processing can take 10 minutes to a few hours, depending on the part’s complexity and the number of data points in the scan. This process is a requirement if the goal is to have a 3D printable part.
However, if there are holes in the 3D Scan data or the watertight data may have undesirable features where the software tries to fill the gaps in the data. This watertight model will be 3D printable and open in CAD as a 3D graphical file or a point cloud. We can open the file as a solid body if the model is not complex. The model will not be a Solid Body comprising the usual CAD features. Instead, it will be a collection of very small surfaces or facets. However, if the parts have a lot of “missing” scan data due to undesirable geometry, we can output it as Raw Data. This is effectively a point cloud containing all the 3D scanned points.
To achieve a high-definition engineering drawing from 3D Scanning, we must use the 3D scan data to create CAD geometry around the imported 3D scan data. This process can take many hours to complete but is worth it. The final CAD model is usually created using the 3D point cloud as a guide whilst taking physical measurements of features to ensure the final model is as close to the input data as possible.
Finally, 3D Scanning is a fantastic technology for use in many ways. Recent projects include motorbike indicator storks and protective electronic enclosures. Although there are limitations, 3D Scanning will produce an accurate 3D graphic (not CAD data which is a common misconception). To learn more about 3D scanning and suitability for requirements, please visit our website or call 01373 801 803.
Calling all new clients
Another benefit of being located at Heywoo
d House is the delicious homemade treats by Heywood Sweet Temptations. We will send new clients a box of brownies as a welcome, a gift not to be missed! Please see the advert for full details and get in touch to discuss your project requirements.