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3D scanning may feel like a technical term or idea, but this concept is a simple one that shows up in many facets of our life. It has an impact on many of the things we use today. For example, if you have driven in a car, flown on a plane, or even gotten an X-ray, your life has been impacted by 3D scanning.

Ultimately, this technique aims to "reverse engineer" everything from devices to vital bodily organs to show them in a 3D model. In short, 3D scanning technologies are essential for many professions—especially when engineering or manufacturing is involved. Nevertheless, there are times when you need to go further than just obtaining 3D scan data. The next step may be to produce a CAD design.

There may be times when you do not have access to an object's original design files, and a 3D scan is essential. Additionally, this scanned data can be used to produce accurate CAD designs for further design or customization of a new product. While this process has come a long way because of technology, it is crucial to find the right professional to handle this task.

This reason is why Cad Crowd has supported firms, entrepreneurs, and companies for over a decade by helping them find exceptional design talent.

Our team wants to make the job of finding a professional who can offer 3D-scan-to-CAD-model-services and make the process straightforward and stress-free. Below we help you jumpstart that process by providing an overview of the 3D scan to CAD process and how our team can help.

What is 3D scanning?

Again, 3D scanning is widely used in a variety of industries. However, it can sometimes be challenging to truly understand what this design technique is and how it fits into the 3D scan to CAD and 3D modeling service process. 3D scanning can allow you to develop highly-accurate 3D models of real-world items. The method includes taking multiple images of an object and then combining them to create a 3D digital image. This 3D image can be accessed on a computer to be rotated, manipulated, and even tested.

3D scanning—and the resulting process of turning them into CAD models—is an excellent way for companies to test out products or machinery, as it gives them the opportunity to see if an item is ready for production before any actual manufacturing occurs.

While it is also worth discussing the 3D scanning process, it also makes sense to delve into a resulting 3D scan. Like a 2D photo is made of pixels, a 3D scan is made up of various triangles and polygons to give it a 3D look. 

What industries use 3D scan to CAD services?

3D scanning is a useful tool for many companies and businesses. Therefore, it makes sense that many places would use it. However, it's essential to understand the industries that utilize 3D scanning as it can help you see where it can fit into your company. Here are a few examples of some sectors that are known to widely use this technique. 

Industrial and manufacturing: Planes, car engines, and even space shuttles started as a drawing on a page that was likely scanned for further use. For these objects, medium and long-range professional 3D laser scanners were likely used to capture the images and models of these more massive items. As it isn't hard to guess, building these larger items takes a lot of time and resources.

A mistake could cause a considerable workflow and budget issue. This is why 3D scan to CAD services are used to conduct a variety of tests and quality checks to ensure these items' accuracy. In short, the 3D scan to CAD process is critical to creating larger objects that will be used by large groups of the public.

Medical and healthcare: Today, technology has enabled doctors and other medical professionals to get views and perspectives of the human body that they were never able to before. One of the main reasons for this is because of processes like 3D scan to CAD services. This technique has made it possible to use portable and stationary 3D scanners to create 3D models of the human body and even take accurate measurements to create prosthetics or other necessary health-related tools for patients. 3D scans also make it easier to aid in surgical procedures and long-term patient care.

Art and entertainment: In recent years, there has been an uptick in older actors being turned into their younger selves for movie roles. This action is a result of the innovation of 3D scan to CAD services. 3D scans can take scan data from a person's face to create life-like avatars or enable 3D modeling services to build a new character based on the person's attributes. 3D scan technologies also make it possible to create a new world in cinema, as almost anything can be turned into a scan and then used for CAD modeling.

Historic preservation: Today's archeological discoveries don't just happen with shovels and hammers. Technological processes like 3D scan to CAD services play a massive role in finding things from pottery to once-lost pyramids. For example, physical locations can be scanned and turned into models that can be analyzed for hidden items. Additionally, 3D scans allow scientists to put certain objects—like artifacts or even the remains of prehistoric animals—into a 3D model form so they can be manipulated and further studied. This design technique also makes it possible to create replicas of various items and images.

Again, 3D scan to CAD model services are used in a variety of industries. However, the tools and processes necessary for this can be complex, which is why it is important that you find a capable designer who can handle this task for you. Fortunately, the team at Cad Crowd has an in-house team of designers and engineers who can help you select the best 3D scan to CAD design professional for your next project, regardless of your industry.

For a look into the many ways that we can help your company, please take a look at How It Works.

What is 3D scan to CAD design—how does it work?

So, we've touched on the 3D scanning process and how it works concerning CAD modeling. Now, it's time to examine 3D scanning and the process of turning it into a CAD design. These techniques may seem similar, but it is essential to understand the workflow to have an idea of how a designer or engineer can handle this process for you.

First, a 3D scanner will create an image of the item. It will typically be a 3D mesh of polygons that displays the geometric make-up of the item. From there, this information can be used as a blueprint and guide for creating a CAD design. The designer will likely begin a 2D CAD tracing of each part of the original design, which can then be turned into a full-on 3D model.

It's important to note that reverse engineering a 3D scan to a CAD design isn't done with the magic of "pressing a button." It can be a time-consuming process that involves skill and a plan for visualizing the original item so that it can be turned into an accurate 3D model. For example, designers may have to split up parts of the original design to trace them and turn them into 3D models. There is some strategy to this process that is important for a designer to explore before starting.

Here are some of the detailed steps that would go into transforming a 3D scan into a CAD design: 

  1. Conduct a 3D scan: The object would be scanned with the use of a 3D scanner. Typically, this image would be in a mesh form that would then be cleaned up in a design tool like Solidworks or Autodesk.
  2. Strategy: This is where the experience and professional know-how of your designer will come in handy. It will be critical for them to figure out how they are going to turn the geometric and mesh design into a CAD model. They will likely have to break the model apart and model it separately.
  3. Building a coordinate workspace: Again, the goal is to turn the 2D design into a 3D model, so it will be necessary for the designer to create their own coordinate system to transform the scans into accurate CAD models that can be used for analysis and testing.
  4. Slicing and sketching: During this process, the designer will slice the design onto the coordinate plane and will begin tracing (or sketching) the scan. This process is typically where any new constraints or requirements are factored in as this sketch will become the new CAD model.
  5. Turn the sketch into a solid: The sketch is transformed into a 3D object for the last step. The original tracing will be revolved to then form the object into a final CAD model.

Once the sketch and revolve are complete, you would be left with an actual 3D model that can be tested or customized. Each designer may vary, but the steps above are what a standard 3D scan to CAD model service would look like.

The team at Cad Crowd is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and companies find dedicated design professionals. This reason is why we offer a variety of design services for clients in various types of sectors. For a look at all the additional design techniques that our network of designers can assist with, be sure to take a look at our Services

The 3D scan to CAD services our network of designers can assist with 

It's important to understand that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to 3D scan to CAD design services. You may need help for all of just part of the process. As a result, there are a variety of ways our designers can help you take those scans and turn them into photorealistic 3D models. 

Take a look: 

Cleaning up 3D scan data: You may already have a 3D scan but want some help in sharpening the scan or turning it into a 3D model. We have designers in our network who can clean up scan data and work with the information you already have. Wherever you are in the 3D scan process, we have designers who can step in to help. 

Laser 3D scans: It's important to know that there are various types of ways to scan an object. One is using laser 3D scanners. These scanners project a laser point or line onto an object while obtaining its reflection through sensors. The scanner typically includes sensors that are placed at a specific distance. The projection produces accurate scans and measurements for each point on the object. 

Structured light scans: On the other hand, we also have designers who are skilled in capturing the scan of an object using structured light scans. This process involves projecting a pattern of light onto the object while cameras are used to assess the distance of the light pattern regardless of their field of view. Much like their laser counterpart, they are accurate and known to produce high-resolution 3D scans. 

3D sketching and modeling: Once the scans are complete, the data needs to be cleaned and then modeled into a 3D CAD design. We have designers in our network who can sketch the designs and then turn them into working 3D models efficiently. Our designers have a wide variety of experience with various software tools to help with this process, namely, Creo, Solidworks, and Autodesk. 

You may also find that you need additional services beyond 3D scanning, sketching, and 3D modeling. If you do, be sure to check out our Services page. Our network of designers have expertise in design techniques like 3D modeling, CAD translations, drafting, product design, and various other design services. For over a decade, Cad Crowd has been a leader in helping companies align their design and business goals. We definitely want to help you do the same.

The benefits of hiring a freelance 3D scan to CAD designer 

In today's fast-paced world, where keeping up with changing consumer preferences is a challenge, it's crucial to be nimble and flexible to keep up. Freelancing and hiring the best professional regardless of their zip code allows you to do this. For years, we have helped firms find exceptional design talent through the Cad Crowd platform. Here are some benefits to finding and working with a freelance designer with the help of Cad Crowd. 

Have support during the hiring process: Hiring a 3D design freelancer—or any professional—is a challenging process. Combing through multiple resumes, conducting interviews, and vetting candidates can be a time-consuming process, especially for an entrepreneur. Our team at Cad Crowd wants to help you. Our in-house team of engineers and designers only picks the best of design candidates. Their support decreases the amount of work you have to do, as we have already vetted top talent, so you don't have to. 

Free up your team: A freelance 3D modeling designer can handle tasks and free up your team to do the things they are trained to do. You want your team to take on jobs that you have hired them to do—especially advanced projects that they are best suited for. A freelance designer can take on more routine tasks or things out of your staff's expertise. In turn, this process can add more efficiency to your workflow. 

Price savings: Freelancing makes it more likely that you can have a mutually beneficial wage agreement with freelancers. Additionally, you only have to pay freelancers for the work they have done, instead of having to take on additional hiring costs associated with a full-time hire. 

Bring in new ideas: You have the opportunity to glean some new ideas from freelance professionals. You are working with some of the best of the best, and as a result, you will be able to receive help and guidance from top-notched professionals at an affordable price. This individual can likely bring about new ideas from their other experiences to help move your processes forward. 

Receive support regardless of location: The Cad Crowd platform enables you to find the best talent, irrespective of where they live. Today's new world of location independence and remote work makes it easy to find the best professional for the job. Your 3D scan to CAD design project can be taken on by the best worker, even if they are in another country or continent. 

Working with individuals who require less supervision: Freelance professionals are typically the individuals who require less maintenance. This perk benefits you as you don't have to hold their hand. They are equipped to take your direction and move into their own process to produce something exceptional while bringing creativity and innovation to your project. 

High-quality work: Again, our in-house team of designers only accepts the best into the Cad Crowd network. These are professionals who have extensive experience and have proven themselves in their fields. This means that you are more likely to receive exceptionally high-quality Cad designs and 3D models. 

There are a variety of benefits for you in hiring a freelance designer. Our team at Cad Crowd wants you to experience them all. Our team can help you run a contest to receive design ideas from our network of designers or assist you in locating a specific design professional. Either way, our team is here to help you excel at your design goals. 

Allow our team to help you with your next 3D scan to CAD design project 

3D scanning and CAD modeling can be a tedious process. It requires meticulous attention to detail that may be challenging to handle on your own. Fortunately, our team is committed to helping you find a professional who can offer the design support that you need. Whether you need a design professional who is adept at laser or structured light scanning, our team is here to help you find the best freelancer for your next 3D scan to CAD model project. 

We only allow the best professionals on the Cad Crowd network, and our goal is to connect you to them. We have worked with businesses as large and notable as Tiffany Co. and as small as solopreneurs and small companies. We feel confident that we can help you with your design needs regardless of the size of your company or the sector you come from. 

If you are ready to start the process of 3D scans to CAD models, we invite you to reach out to us for a free quote today.

Cad Crowd's 3D CAD design experts are at your disposal

At Cad Crowd, we have a network of 3D CAD design experts at your service. Regardless of the type of project you have, we can help. Find out how it works today.


Brands we've worked with

Yale University School of Medicine
Tiffany & Co.
CNOOC Limited
The Boston Consulting

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