# 3D scanner for both replicate and quality control 3D prints

I've switched to industrial 3D printing. I use 3DSystems Flex 100 printer. As I print high detailed parts soon I've found out that I have to use quality control. Software is not a question. I use Geomagic Design X and Geomagic Control X. Sometimes I also Use Solidworks as I started my engineering way with Solidworks :-) The thing is that I have to choose a 3D scanner.

It has to work with small (3-7 cm in general) high detailed parts. I also would like to use the scanner as a helping tool with reverse engineering.

Actually, I have one scanner in my mind: 3D Systems recommended me the Artec Micro. I've researched all the data Artec provides... It sounds good, resolution, works with Geomagic software, bla bla bla... But when I've tried to search web for any user experience, I've found pretty nothing. I'm quite a noob with 3D scanning so I'm afraid to buy such a device without being able to see if it really suits my needs.

The question is: "Does anyone have experience with this or any other 3D scanner, used for similar purpose as mine an can recommend it, or tell me not to buy it?". Or any tips how to find out if the scanner suits my needs before actually buying it. I know how to choose the right printer, but scanners are confusing:-)

• I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this appears to be a recommendation question - which are not allowed as per stack policy. – Trish Nov 28 '19 at 13:17
• Isn't "please recommend an X" very different from "I'm interested in specific item Y and want to know pros/cons from someone with experience using it"? – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Nov 29 '19 at 3:30
• @R.. True, I'm inclined to leave this open too, but I have to ignore the phrase ...can recommend it, or tell me not to buy it? That is hinting to recommendation, not the experience. The community decides, but a rewrite of the question would be recommended to take away the "recommendation feeling". – 0scar Nov 29 '19 at 12:39
• @R.. Under the presumtion that this is highly rewritten to analyse the pros/cons of this one mahine, then yes, it is a good question. – Trish Dec 1 '19 at 15:45
• @0scar d'accord – Trish Dec 1 '19 at 15:45

Thus question is very close to being out of the scope of the questions encouraged on the 3D Printing SE site, but you have worked closely with Trish and Oscar to make it into less of a "recommend" question and more of a "how might I choose" question

What to look for in a 3D scanner?

You mentioned using the scanner for quality control. Lets start with that.

The best way I know to do optical quality control is to image each layer after deposition rather than viewing the completed object. Especially for printing engineered objects, like rocket fuel pumps and jet turbine blades, it is important to be able to see inside the object and detect voids, bad adhesion, and points of unexpected stress. That is hard to do with the full object, and easier to do layer by layer.

But this may not be the QA requirement you are trying to meet. Maybe the gross object appearance is what you are controlling for.

If so, you need to define what is good enough and what is a failure. With those criteria, you can see which scanners give you that discernment.

I suspect that won't be far off the requirements for the "reverse engineering" you also intend.

Another criteria is the software.

It's the workflow simple, or can it be made simple? 20 clicks through detailed menus which must be done correctly and in sequence is not easy to get right twice a week when you need out.

Consider the color of the illumination

Be sure it will not interact badly with your objects. A red laser does not scan well a red object.

More is more, not necessarily better

Higher resolution is great if you have three I/O channels to support it, the disk space to store it, the RAM to hold it, and the processing power to absorbable it.