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Part-to-Part Comparison using 3D Inspection Process

3D Scanning and Digital Inspection is not always for CAD to PART comparison, with software’s great potential and proper usage it’s also possible to perform scan to scan comparison for various applications, one of the application we Precise3DM have tried our best to elaborate here.


  • Client wants to improve their existing design by performing the competitive analysis evaluating the strength and weakness to the market trend. Two objects that are clients own functional product (Fig.1) and the existing one in the market (Fig.2), are needed to be 3D inspected and reverse engineered to CAD for new product development.
  • The Scope includes overall profile comparison of two objects ,3D colour map and comparison points, 2D profile comparison by taking a multiple cross section, and reverse engineering for product development.


Mold Board Block

Fig 1

Fig 2

Technical Challenge

  • Two Physical Object are completely organic shapes. Measuring such a freeform shape, either by CMM or conventional methods will be laborious.
  • Object is too heavy to carry it to the 3D scanning vendor’s place.


3D Scanning & Digital Inspection Workflow

3D scanner used:Freescan X7
Prior to picking up an appropriate scanner for this application we had to consider the aspects such as size and weight of the object, environment, and accuracy expectation from the client. we have chosen handheld metrology grade 3D scanner Freescan X7 from shining 3D ,that gives measuring accuracy of 0.03 mm. Target stickers were used for the scanning registration and the final watertight mesh model has been exported as stl file for further digital inspection process from the scanning software.

3D Inspection software used:Geomagic Control X – A comprehensive metrology software used for the digital inspection and inspection were performed and final inspection report is generated as output.

Coordinate alignment in Geomagic control X to use it as reference object

  • Two physical objects were scanned and saved as separate files for 3D inspection process, one of them were first imported for the coordinate alignment, means that when any object is scanned, that will be in machine coordinate, which has to be brought into the world coordinate.
  • Reference planes were extracted from the digital file (.STL) by the smart selection tool in Geomagic control X ,and they were used for the initial coordinate alignment.
Before Alignment

After Alignment

Datum Alignment

After the coordinate alignment reference object is all set and another test file is imported for the 3D inspection, now both the files are superimposed to the same coordinate and datum alignment were used for the alignment by extracting the similar features in test and reference features and pairing them.

Before Alignment

After Alignment


3D Compare

After the alighment 3D compare function in the software intelligently Calculates and displays the shape and form deviation the between reference and the test object by creating a 3D color map.

2D Compare

Multiple 2D cross sections with uniform spacing created, which graphically illustrated the deviations between two scanned objects


2D Cross-Sectional View

Annotation Points

Over the cross sectional colour maps



3D Scanning and Digital Inspection method is 7x faster based on time compared to conventional contact type inspection method and 80% lower cost on labor savings Client requirement is clearly understood, and suitable 3D Scanner was used for their application. Don’t Just Find Problems, Fix Them-Control X- integrated tightly with Geomagic Design X Reverse engineering Software so you can update and improve and Design for better product development with even more technical insight.

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