Engineers may now have a new way to check the surfaces of
physical models, thanks to a new handheld camera-based device.
Engineering Future Technologies S.L. teamed
with Hartwig, Inc. at this week's 2008
International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) here in Chicago, IL to announce the development of
the new handheld tool. Known as Vision
Handscan 4D, the device enables users to check surfaces and fastener
positioning, measure countersinking, examine hole diameters and perform a
multitude of other functions with 15 µm accuracy and 4 µm repeatability.
about the size of a football, has two antennae-type "wands" that allow users to
position it snugly against the surface it's measuring. Two cameras at separate
locations employ a stereo vision technique to do the measuring. Using an
onboard processor and memory, the Handscan is capable of storing modeling software
inside, thus enabling it to compare the physical measurements against a
software model of the surface. The device is targeted at manufacturers of
airplanes, automobiles and any types of machines that have large,
geometrically complex surfaces.
images, re-creates surfaces and applies those images on top of the theoretical
software models to see if there is deviation," says Jordi Anducas Aregall,
manager of Efetech and developer of the technology.
engineers at the IMTS show say the device can also be used to reconstruct
a surface without the presence of a software model. In that case, they say,
the user could scan the surface first and then create a software model over the
from both companies say the Handscan is the first such device to employ
vision. Others, they say, have combined lasers with GPS to generate surface
data. The two companies claim, however, that those technologies are less
accurate and more expensive than their Vision Handscan 4D technology.
applications, there's been no easy way to measure a surface up to now," says
Scott Wyatt, national sales manager for Hartwig. "But with this, you just grab
it, go to the shop floor and start inspecting."