Wednesday, March 31, 2010

3D Scanning Newsletter - March

This month's newsletter includes:

Aircraft OML Reverse Engineering Enables Complex CFD Analysis
When Texas A&M University Flight Research Lab needed to determine the suitability of a Gulfstream II for a critical flight-test program Direct Dimensions provided them with high quality engineered 3D CAD models that allowed them to perform complex CFD analysis to determine if the aircraft was a good fit.

Williamsburg Coffee House:
Laser scanning captures amazing details from the past during a historic reconstruction project.

Monumental Horse Sculpture
Digital sculpture enlargement helps fabricate a monumental sculpture based on a clay model.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Direct Dimensions’ 2010 3D Scanning and Modeling Conferences & Events

Each year Direct Dimensions sends personnel and equipment out into the world to spread the word about our great 3D capabilities at a wide variety of events. We attend many conferences, trade shows, and events over a diverse range of industries from art to medical and aerospace to entertainment. We perform demonstrations, give talks and presentations, and lead technical workshops to help people learn about our latest 3D imaging technologies and how they can use our services and products.

Here are some of the events where you will find us in 2010:

APMM Conference, March 26-28, Boston, MA: Leading a workshop on diverse 3D imaging technologies available to the model making industry at the Association of Professional Model Makers conference.

GameTech 2010 March 29-31, Orlando, FL: Direct Dimensions’ face scanning experts are in Orlando showcasing our ShapeShot concept for this conference that deals with utilizing gaming technologies for military training.

Rapidform SUCCESS Conference 2010, April 20-23, San Francisco, CA: Rapidform’s annual reseller and users meeting, combined with technical training sessions.

RAPID2010 and the 3D Imaging Conference, May 18-20, Anaheim, CA: One of the premiere shows within our industry, RAPID2010 brings the 3D scanning & imaging and additive manufacturing communities together to showcase the newest technologies. Come see us at booth 206!

The American Association of Museums Expo, May 24-27, Los Angeles: We’ll attend the show to meet museum professionals and discuss our depth and capabilities in the areas of digital art and sculpture.

Maryland Society of Surveyors Conference, June 11, St. Michael’s, MD: We’ll be sharing our experiences with BIM (Building Information Modeling) and heritage site scanning.

Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC), July 12-16, Reno, NV: This conference provides a professional venue where ideas, concepts, and theory flow freely among participants. The educational atmosphere encourages attendees to network and learn about the latest innovations in the field of portable 3D industrial measurement technologies. Anyone in the metrology field should attend this conference! Direct Dimensions will be at booth 107 and Michael Raphael is a member of the 2010 CMSC Executive Committee.

SIGGRAPH 2010, July 25-29, Los Angeles, CA: This huge conference focuses on digital gaming, entertainment, and animation. Direct Dimensions will again showcase 3D & 4D face capture technologies from Dimensional Imaging.

Aerospace Measurement, Inspection, and Analysis, October 20-21, Orlando, FL: This is a new trade show around the 3rd technical conference from SME to showcase measurement technologies that support aerospace manufacturing. Michael Raphael is again a conference advisor.

International PolyWorks Users Meeting, Oct 26-28, Quebec City, Canada: Gathering of PolyWorks users and resellers, combined with technical presentations and demonstrations hosted by Innovmetric.

Check back often, we’ll be adding more opportunities to learn about 3D scanning!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Case Study: 3D Transforms Idea from Concept to Digital to Manufacturing

John Jenkins, President and CEO of Jenkz Innovation and Design Group, engaged Direct Dimensions for a unique 3D project. As a Chrysler 300 car owner, he had been interested in purchasing an aftermarket accessory to enhance the vehicle’s front grille. After an exhaustive search, he found that what he wanted did not exist on the market. So being an inventor and entrepreneur, Mr. Jenkins decided to patent and design the accessory himself.

While Mr. Jenkins knew how he wanted his finished product to look, he needed extremely accurate data of the car’s grille area to complete the design. He also needed assistance in getting a prototype created, and eventually engineers who could work closely with his production facility.

After consulting with the staff at Direct Dimensions about the project and understanding how Mr. Jenkins intended to actually fabricate the piece, the engineers opted to use a Faro Arm and Faro Laser Line Scanner to capture the data with an accuracy of +/-0.002”. Mr. Jenkins drove his Chrysler 300 to Direct Dimensions’ lab where it was scanned in just a few hours.

With the precise dimensions and complex contours of the Chrysler 300’s existing grill accurately captured, Mr. Jenkins outlined his concept design for the trim accessory so that it would fit perfectly with the other front trim pieces. Using Rapidform’s unique XOR software for design-intent reverse engineering, a digital model of what would eventually be called the Chrome Mustache™ was created to Mr. Jenkins' specifications.

Once the design team finished the CAD model, this data was transferred to our in-house replication services team to manage the rapid prototype process. Prototypes were then created using stereolithography (SLA), an additive process that uses a laser and liquid resin to layer plastic. A final prototype was then chrome-plated to approximate the anticipated finished product. Although only a prototype, it looked and functioned like a real production part.

Mr. Jenkins then used the prototype, 3D CAD file, and help from the engineers at Direct Dimensions to arrange for the creation of a plastic injection mold. When the production facility had questions or potential problems, the DDI engineers were able to collaborate with them to make minor design changes or answer questions.

The “Chrome Mustache™” is currently available for sale. You can find it at dealerships and distributors across the USA and Canada, or at its website:


Friday, March 19, 2010

Calling All 3D Artists

Call for 3D printed art at SME RAPID 2010

Attention artists working with 3D printing technologies, or "additive manufacturing" (AM) - the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is holding its annual conference, called RAPID, featuring 3D Imaging in Anaheim, Calif. in May 2010.

This years conference will feature a gallery of art produced with AM technologies. A submission entry process is available online with a deadline of March 22, 2010.

Click here for complete information.