You are on page 1of 6


Using NextEngine ScanStudio and Geomagic to obtain a CAD file
By: Koray Tanriverdi For: Professor Habiba Bougherara Monday, April 09, 2012

An Informal Guide to 3D Scanning

NOTE: I am by no means an expert on either of these software. I had to learn to use them to complete my project and it was a time consuming process. Therefore, this guide is written to save time for future users. This guide starts with a physical object and outputs a CAD file such as .igs or .step that can be opened using SolidWorks and Ansys.

step. 14. Reorient it and do a second scan to get the regions that were not captured in the first scan. Start Exact Surfacing.Overview of Scanning Process 1. Paint it the object white.igs or . Trim both scans. 2. 13. Align both scans. 8. Auto Surface. 4. Fuse the aligned scan.igs or .obj file. 3. 11. Run MeshDoctor. Start scanning at your desired settings. Save and Save as . Go Polygons > Fill Holes > Fill All. 7. Put reference marks on it. Page | 2 . Now you can save as . 6. 5. 12.step. 10. 9. (these file types can be opened in SolidWorks and Ansys) Optional: you can use the Convert feature under surfaces to get a CAD model and then save as . 15.obj file in Geomagic. Open .

The scanner gets a better image from a flat (not shiny) white color. Higher values provide greater quality but take more time. e. Paint it white. There are arrows at the top you can use to rotate the piece without scanning to make sure the object stays within the camera range throughout the entire scan. Put the piece on the stand. The two scans will then be aligned together using NextEngine Studio. Macro or Wide. neutral. Again you should rotate the target piece to make sure it does not go outside this range. 3. 2. light. Point cloud density: how many points per inch. As you change these settings you will see a time and computer memory estimate at the bottom.Scanning using NextEngine Scan Studio NOTE: If you click support in the top right corner of the software it will bring a nice wiki page to guide you. The range of the object from the camera. A complete image cannot be obtained in a single scan. Ex: 10 divisions for 360° = 10 36° divisions. For best results these points should be placed as far away from each other as possible. 6. c. 5. 1. Put reference marks on the piece to be scanned. You may also click and drag on the camera preview panel to select the region in which scan data should be collected. the higher number of divisions gives greater quality but takes more time. 8. Presumably. So there needs to be a minimum of two scans (for some pieces maybe more) to get a complete image. 7. There are always regions like the top and bottom that the scanner will not get with the first scan. 10. Range of scan: full 360° or a certain range? b. Click Scan. Page | 3 . Launch NextEngine Scan Studio. 4. The color of the target object: dark. Connect all the cables. Number of divisions for the region. the common regions to both scans. This is not completely necessary but may help reduce the noise that you will inevitably have to trim. 9. In this menu you can setup: a. d. The regions that were not seen on the first scan should be seen on the second scan to make one complete image. The reference points should be placed on regions that can be seen by both scans.

13. Start the second scan. Now orient the piece such that the regions that were not seen on the first scan can be seen (maybe flip it on its side?). Save once the scan is over. After setting up these settings click scan. IMPORTANT: while it is scanning it is recommended that you do not rotate the screen as this can screw up the scan and you will have to start over again. After the first scan is complete save as at a directory of your choosing. 14. Page | 4 .11. 12. 16. Make sure you have setup everything properly as the scanning process is very time consuming and so repeating this procedure is not pleasant. 15.

You can add more than 3 points for more accurate results. Page | 5 . a. 23. 22. Use the Align command to combine the two scans into one image. 18. b. Before each major operation the software will save a backup model in case something goes wrong. 19. The particular version of the ScanStudio software does not allow us to go directly to SolidWorks this is why we have to use Geomagic. Place a minimum of 3 points on both images. 24.Editing the scan data using NextEngine Scan Studio 17. It is recommended that we save and exit ScanStudio without using the Polish command. You can go back to the previous backup using the Edit menu or you can simply close the current file and open the backup file generated in the Save folder. At this point you should have both scans available at the bottom or the screen. Try and place the points in the same geometric position for accuracy. The points should be placed on the reference markings made at the beginning. Use the Trim command to trim the unwanted data for both scans. You may also use the Polish command to Fill Holes or to Buff however these are not necessary and are better done in Geomagic. Likewise for the remaining points. You may use the Fuse button on the main screen or use the "Volume Merge Scans" in the top Fuse menu. Both scans should have some noise unwanted data. Fuse command should be the last command used as it simplifies the mesh for us and reduces errors when we move on to Geomagic. This is basically the “undo” feature of the software. You may also save as . Use the Output command to save as . 21.stl file and this can be opened directly in SolidWorks but it is a graphics file only and provides limited functionality. 20. Fuse your 2 scans. You cannot make measurements etc. Example: the red point should be placed on the same reference point on both images.obj file. This is what we will use in Geomagic.

These file types can be opened in SolidWorks and Ansys. 29. Open the . Run it as it will auto fix any errors in your mesh.obj file with Geomagic. 31. For the most part I kept the default settings.step.igs or .step file. When it first opens it will ask if you want to run MeshDoctor. I used the Organic option. 30. you may adjust according to your needs. Optional: you can use the Convert feature under surfaces to get a CAD model and then save as . Run Fill All under Fill Holes which is under Polygons. 28. Go to Exact Surfacing tab and start Exact Surfacing.Working with Geomagic to obtain a CAD model 25.igs or . Once this process is done you may save as . 27. Page | 6 . This auto fills all holes that may exist in your mesh. 26.