While most laser scanners work just great at distances up to a few meters or so, there’s a whole world of large objects that conventional scanners can’t take in just one pass. These big scanning jobs are where the Photon Laser Scanner from Faro Technologies really starts to shine.
The Photon has a huge range spanning from 0.6 to 76m, allowing this versatile scanner to produce 3-D images from the tiniest of products to big architectural scans to everything in between. To support its more massive data collection tasks, this phase-shift scanner also works fast, collecting 120,000 points/sec. Its field of view is 320 x 360 degrees.
In terms of its accuracy and repeatability, the Photon has a distance error of ±2 mm at 25m and a repeatability of 0.9 mm rms and 1.2 mm rms at 10 and 25m, respectively, and at 90 percent reflection.
Making use of the scans is a breeze, too. An integrated draw-to-CAD function turns its point cloud of data into 3-D CAD files.
According to Faro product specialist Lesa Harvey, the scanner has large- and small-scale 3-D imaging applications. On the large end, it’s been used in cultural preservation and architectural applications, as well as shipbuilding and creating models of large industrial processes. “One interesting application has been in forensics,” she adds, explaining that the Photon has been used to scan damaged cars after crashes. It has also been used in reverse-engineering and quality-assurance applications in the automotive, aerospace and toy industries.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.