AMS Spring 2023

Thor3D Introduces Calibration Kit for Drake 3D Scanner to Ensure Accurate Scans Every Time

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Moscow-based 3D imaging company Thor3D has been taking the 3D scanning industry by storm since it first introduced its handheld Thor 3D Scanner and marking system in 2016. About a year ago, the company released its second handheld scanner, the wireless Drake scanning system, which can capture both small and large objects. The body of the system contains a battery, a 7″ touchscreen, and a built-in computer, and will soon include a brand new Calibration Tool.

Drake 3D Scanner

Today, Thor3D is announcing the release of its Calibration Kit for the Drake 3D Scanner. The kit will allow Drake users to calibrate the scanner on their own at home, instead of relying on its previous standard of factory calibration only. It has hardware and software, and is made up of the base, which can tilt and stabilize the scanner so it’s easy to get a precise calibration, and the board, which varies in weight and size depending on which lens size – Mini, Midi, or Maxi – you have.

Calibration board

Every 3D scanner needs to be calibrated, which means adjusting its software to match its hardware using a standard scale  – you can do this with a large board containing dots or other symbols, and combining the process with special software. While factory calibration is more convenient for both the customer and the manufacturer because the scanner is calibrated once on the factory floor before it’s shipped out, the user will not always get the most accurate data this way. Thor3D’s new Calibration Kit for the Drake means that every user will have the option to rely on the pre-installed factory calibration or use the new home tool to get the most accuracy and data repeatability.

Thor3D decided to begin providing a complementary calibration kit with every Drake scanner for a few reasons:

  • Frequent calibration ensures high accuracy for every scan
  • Significant reduction in scanner repair bills for manufacturers and clients
  • Company-wide strategic shift toward industrial applications

Most 3D scanners are advertised as being able to achieve an accuracy of 30 microns and no more than 300 microns, but this accuracy can’t be achieved if the device is not properly calibrated.

“Although many factors play a role in how precise your scanner is, one key factor is calibration,” explained Thor3D Technical Support Team members Peter and Greg in a blog post. “Regardless of how stable factory calibration is, over time, it will decay and your 3D results will degrade. Dust, temperature fluctuations, slight shaking of the device when you set it down on a table, can all cause factory calibration to worsen. Experienced engineers appreciate having a calibration kit to ensure that the last scan, even years after the device was purchased, is still as good as the first.”

Drake Maxi calibration board

According to Peter and Greg, the number one reason that Thor3D scanners need to be repaired is lost or degraded calibration, because even when people try to be careful, scanners can still be handled roughly and sometimes even dropped. Additionally, though this happens rarely, some new scanners even arrive on a customer’s doorstep de-calibrated due to mishandling by the shipping company. Regardless of how it happens, users can still see the results of their 3D scans get worse over time because of the decay in calibration.

Peter and Greg said, “It is now abundantly evident that by introducing the kit and including it with every Drake scanner, we will be saving tens of thousands of dollars on shipping costs and loss of productivity while the device is out for unnecessary repairs.”

While both the Thor 3D and Drake scanners are good at capturing parts of the human body, be it for computer graphics, medical, or research purposes, last year the company began working to shift its focus more towards industrial manufacturing applications, such as quality control and reverse engineering. The Drake 3D scanner allows engineers to easily scan objects of any size, from a coin to a yacht, as well as difficult objects like thin walls and shiny surfaces. By adding the complementary calibration kit, the company says it can pretty much “guarantee accuracy which is a must in heavy industries such as automotive and aviation.”

“You might never use your calibration kit, because the factory one will be stable and you’ll handle your scanner with care,” said Peter and Greg. “But isn’t it nice to know that if you need it, the kit will be there? And if you do need a guarantee of high accuracy for every scan, then use this tool daily and sleep well at night.”

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[Images: Thor3D]

 

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