MobileScan 3D portable laser scanners from NVision Inc., Wixom, Mich., put a control unit, sensor, and swivel mechanics all in a 26-lb package. The scanner captures extremely highresolution images even on large measurement volumes. For example, it can resolve a volume of 60 in. 3 to less than 0.001 in.

In operation, the scanner continuously gauges part-surface and ambient-light conditions and automatically adjusts for best results. The system is capable of capturing up to 20 million points, far greater than possible with coordinate measuring machines, and without templates or fixtures.

The scanner mounts on a one or two-axis servocontrolled swivel head that attaches to either a tripod or table support. The head can move manually or automatically guided by software running on a notebook computer linked through USB or FireWire. The software generates an ordered data set or ASCII data and all measurements transform to a common coordinate system. Computer-aided inspection software is included. It converts scan data to polygon and parametric surface models.

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