What is a 3D digitizer?
A three-dimensional digitizer is a spatial measuring tool used to determine the XYZ coordinates of points in three dimensional space, or on the surface of an object. The digitized coordinates are directly, automatically inserted into a computer file, worksheet or modeling, design, engineering, analysis or control application.
Why use a 3D digitizer?
A hand-held 3D digitizer helps you develop a digital computer model of an existing object or part for continuing engineering and design. It is awkward, time consuming, impractical and sometimes impossible to measure points in three-dimensions on the surface of an object with rulers, calipers, grids and other schemes. You save a lot of time using a 3D digitizer and the points you digitize are directly inserted into your software design applications, 3D point by 3D point. Using your design application resources, you fit curves to sets of points and develop surfaces defined by the curves. You may dimension, render, view, rotate, the 3D object. You may create a solid model for analysis. You may generate a tool-path for CNC machining operations.
REMTEK supports Immersion's MicroScribe G2 desktop three-dimensional measuring and digitizing system. The MicroScribe G2 is a precision portable digitizing arm with a hand-held probe used at a workstation, mounted or on a tripod or similar fixture for field use or a manufacturing environment. The MicroScribe G2 communicates with a host computer via USB or serial port.
How does it work?
The MicroScribe G2 digitizer is based on optical angle encoders at each of the five arm joints, embedded processor, USB port and software application interface for the host computer. The user selects points of interest or sketches curves on the surface of an object with the hand-held probe tip and foot switch. Angle information from the MicroScribe G2 arm is sent to the host computer through a USB port. The MicroScribe G2 utility software (MUS), a software application interface, calculates the Cartesian XYZ coordinates of the acquired points and the coordinates are directly inserted into keystroke functions in the users active Windows application. The users design and modeling application functions are used to connect the 3D points as curves and objects to create surfaces and solids integrated into an overall design.
The steps to build a computer model include digitizing 3D points defining curves, developing surfaces, editing and rendering in Rhino or the user's preferred computer design application. A presentation of the process is at on-line demo. The number of points defining the curves and number of curves depends on the detail desired in the model. Surfacing functions offered by the design application are used to create and blend the model surfaces. The model may be shaded or rendered, defined as a solid or animated depending on the designer's intentions.
How do our clients use their MicroScribe G2 digitizing tool?
Our clients use their MicroScribe G2 digitizing tools for product design, analysis, manufacture, test and control.
What are the advantages of the MicroScribe Windows software application interface?
MicroScribe Utility Software (MUS) allows you to use your MicroScribe G2 digitizer immediately with your current design tools. You do not have to learn another application or export, import files. XYZ points you digitize are inserted directly, automatically into your active design, analysis or control application functions.
MicroScribe Utility Software is a Windows software application interface included with the MicroScribe G2. It runs in your host computer. MicroScribe G2 with MicroScribe Utility Software lets you bring compound and irregular curves and shapes from an object or part into your current computer design application to be blended with existing or new designs. You digitize points and since MicroScribe Utility Software emulates a keyboard, XYZ coordinates are automatically entered directly into your design application as keystrokes, an ASCII character string. Tab, comma, new line and other characters may be used to format the entry for specific applications and to issue commands. User defined formats may be saved. MicroScribe G2 is compatible with applications supporting keyboard entry of 3D, XYZ data for specific functions. It works with Excel, Rhino, CADKEY, AutoCAD, SurfaceWorks, IntelliCAD, BobCAD, SolidWorks, Pro Engineer, Solid Edge, Mastercam, VisualMill, Pilot3D, DesignCAD, MATLAB, Notepad, Word and similar applications.
MicroScribe Utility Software includes several functions.
How about Rhino?
The Rhino NURBS
modeling software application includes internal enhanced
support for MicroScribe G2 XYZ coordinate entry.
Rhino displays the probe tip position in views
prior to digitizing a point. You can 'see' where a point
will be added before you digitize. A re-calibrate function
allows you move or turn-over your object (or move the
digitizer) to digitize hidden surfaces or large objects. You
can use digitized points to draw curves, place arcs, circles
and other objects. You can create planar sections through
your object. You can develop a surface on the curves and
objects. You can create very accurate, free-form and
compound-curved surfaces for inclusion in SolidEdge,
SolidWorks and other designs. More information about using
the MicroScribe G2 with Rhino is at MicroScribe G2 with
What is the active volume of a MicroScribe G2?
The digitizer family includes four systems.
REMTEK supports the MicroScribe G2. Let me know your application for a MicroScribe G2 digitizing tool, your design and analysis software and your questions?
Contact me ... firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 505-603-4073
GTCO Calcomp's Freepoint 3D-XL2 is a hand-held, large volume three-dimensional point digitizer. The Freepoint 3D-XL2 is an engineering and design tool used to measure the location of 3D points in space or on the surface of an object and insert their XYZ coordinates directly, automatically into your software design and analysis applications. Active working volume is 8' x 8' x 8' or larger. Measurement accuracy is ± 0.04", ± 1/32", or ± 1 mm.
What can you do with the Freepoint 3D-XL2 tool?
How are users using Freepoint
What is included in a Freepoint 3D-XL2 system?
A Freepoint 3D-XL2 system includes a hand-held emitter probe, microphone array, calibration bar, controller with embedded processor, serial cable to Intel host computer, power cable, Microsoft Windows software application interface and documentation.
How does the Freepoint 3D-XL2 tool work?
The hand-held probe includes two (or more) sonic emitters, a stylus, a trigger and a cable to the controller. The operator places the stylus of the probe on a point of interest on the surface of an object and triggers the probe. The emitters 'fire' in sequence each generating an independent sonic pulse and simultaneously starting counters in the controller associated with each of the three microphones in the detector array.
When sonic energy from a pulse is received at a microphone a signal to the controller stops its counter storing the travel time of the pulse. Since the speed of sound (~ 1100 feet per second) and travel time (the counter) are known, the slant distance (d = s * t) from the emitter to the microphone can be determined. Similarly the slant distance from this sonic pulse is calculated for the other two microphones. The pulse from the second emitter is processed in the same manner. The specific location of each emitter in space is calculated by triangulating each set of slant ranges.
The Freepoint 3D-XL2 software application interface calculates the XYZ Cartesian coordinates for each emitter in its internal and scaled (inches, cm, mm) format. Since the physical distances between each emitter and the probe tip are known, the XYZ location of the probe tip in 3D space is known and directly entered into the host application.
How is Freepoint 3D-XL2 accuracy assured?
Line-of-sight between emitters and microphones is maintained during measurement to acquire valid data. The detector array may be oriented horizontal, vertical, or any other plane, to best achieve line-of-sight with the emitters.
The detector array and the object being digitized are stable during measurements.
Since the speed of sound varies with temperature and humidity, a calibration or pilot bar with emitter and sensor at a known distance is 'measured' each time the probe is triggered. The 'measured' and known length of the calibration bar are compared and a correction is applied to calculations.
Travel time measurements are made with a defined window of time to minimize the affect of reflections from nearby surfaces.
Multiple measurements of a selected point may be made for each trigger and averaged.
How is Freepoint 3D-XL2 information transferred to my application?
Freepoint 3D-XL2 works with a Microsoft Windows host computer. Windows supports several methods for exchanging data between applications. The Freepoint 3D-XL2 system emulates a keyboard. XYZ coordinates are sent to the active design or analysis application as an ASCII character string and inserted directly into a selected function. The character string to perform the desired function in the application is entered during system configuration and stored in its configuration file. For example, the setup character string for Rhino NURBS modeling to insert an absolute XYZ point is X,Z,-Y/0D.
A configuration routine (UCS) allows the user to define the coordinate system relative to the user workspace. The origin, X-axis and XZ (Y=0) plane are entered to define the UCS.
A set of three reference (fiducial) points may be marked and digitized on the object to allow rotating the object or moving the object or detector array for objects larger than the active volume.
Additional information is in the Freepoint-3D help file (download, save, open).
REMTEK supports the Freepoint 3D-XL2/XL3 digitizers. Let me know your application, design, nalysis and control software. How can I help you?
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