Category Archives: From the Optimax Engineer

Transformative 3D technology – stepping beyond VR

3D technology was characteristic of our vision of ‘the future’ far before it was a manufacturable reality. Such an essential element of the sci-fi landscape, when we were first presented with the VR headset it all felt rather familiar.

Yet its applications were broader than we could have predicted and with the release of Vision Engineering’s futuristic TriTeq3 technology, it’s clear that innovation in 3D technology is by no means slowing down.

The impact of 3D technology has been far reaching and not just, as is often thought, as a B2C product. VR headsets are now commonplace in production processes. In the automotive industry they’re used in design decisions for car fit out, and for the complete testing of new production areas. TriTeq3 fully realises the transformative implication of 3D technology for inspection. By providing each eye with separate information, the technology gives,

‘A natural 3D view, with full high definition (FHD) resolution and excellent subject clarity’. (Vision Engineering)

With this improved visibility for surface conditions, scratches, dings, finish, edge condition and roughness, a higher level of quality assurance is made possible. Real depth perception also supports the use of tools in detailed tasks such as soldering and reworking. 

TriTeq3 also marks a transformation in user experience of 3D technology. Unlike VR, a head mounted display is not required – making everything much easier for us specs wearers. Productivity is improved as a user is not isolated from the outside world, you can refer to notes, interact with colleagues and will not experience motion sickness or eye-strain. TriTeq3 therefore also offers an attractive option for users of computer aided design. 

So where do we go from here? The potential for sharing these high resolution 3D images gives 3D technology a new feature – global collaboration. Soon we could have an engineer in Hong Kong sharing the exact high resolution, 3D image they are working on with a colleague in London. The implications of this for the medical industry can seem even more ‘sci-fi’ – a specialist could inspect a detailed 3D image of a CT or MRI scan and advise on a diagnosis as if in the same room. 

Whatever the next step, it is clear that the impact of 3D technology is only just being felt – where do you think it will take us next? 

This article forms part of Optimax’s Thought Leadership Series – sharing our expertise as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of optical inspection and measurement equipment. If you have any questions about our products or are looking for tailored advice, please drop me a message or give us a call at 01858 436940.

Metrology Musings: The mystery surrounding the calibration of non-contact measuring systems


The mystery surrounding the calibration of non-contact measuring systems

Most 1st, 2nd and even 3rd tier suppliers into the automotive and aerospace world, require some form of traceability from their measurement equipment and calibration suppliers.

Normally, this is in the form of accreditation to one of the UKAS laboratory standards.  Most measurement technologies are now fairly mature, in terms of their development cycle and the principles for checking, verification and calibration are well understood.  Indeed for most, an international standard now exists, removing the subjectivity in the process of calibration and setting out a unified, standardised procedure for all to follow and become accredited to.

Optical, video and laser metrology systems, broadly defined as non-contact metrology, have been rather later to the party and their development cycle is still very progressive. Equally the understanding about how these systems should be checked, verified and most importantly corrected, is not as widely understood by their users.

Over the next few months we are going to publish a series of short articles, giving an outline of current best practices.  We will attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding the calibration of non-contact measuring systems and get an understanding of the influencing factors which contribute to the uncertainty budgets.

I will leave you with a quick thought for now.  If you own a contact coordinate measuring system “CMM”, there are a number of very well qualified engineers and calibration laboratories able to deliver the ISO10360 -2 standard at a reasonable cost.  This is a well understood standard, by both deliverers and also customers.

I stand to be corrected of course, but currently there are no UKAS laboratories accredited to the ISO10360-7 and 8 standard, in the UK.  This is the standard required for UKAS certification of non-contact metrology probes, with any form of field of view measurement capability.  So for now, even the most diligent and compliant of manufacturers and suppliers, cannot currently acquire or issue a UKAS calibration certificate for their NCM instruments……………….

Pete Clements

For more information on the standard: http://ow.ly/8XEU303toa9

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