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Editor’s Pick: Full-color 3D Structured Light Scanning for Product Design

FARO Cobalt Design structured light scanning platform is its first scan platform designed specifically for product development.  

FARO Cobalt Design structured light scanning platform is its first scan platform designed specifically for product development.  

The FARO Cobalt Design platform for 3D structured light scanning.  Image courtesy of FARO.

Dear DE Reader, 

Structured light scanners are great when you need to capture complex surfaces. The more complex, organic or freeform the surfaces, the better. Such objects are challenging for other automated or manual methods, which are just too rigid and inflexible for the job. Structured light scanners are also great for gathering a large amount of data quickly. Which is why the news that FARO is introducing its first line of structured light scanners specifically for design engineering caught our attention. We’ll tell you why the new FARO Cobalt Design family of color 3D structured light scanners is our Editor’s Pick of the Week. 

First, FARO is no newcomer to the field. For more than a generation FARO has served various industries, including product development and factory production with various turnkey 3D measurement solutions. Their products can be found in engineering centers and shop floors globally. 

The new Cobalt Design family uses projected light patterns (aka structured light) with a camera system to capture large areas at once. It is more like taking a snapshot than gathering data in continuous sweeps like other technologies. This approach is said to significantly reduce data capture times and is meant to lead to quicker final results. 

Cobalt Design is the first FARO color structured light scanner platform specifically built for design applications, including reverse engineering. We think potential users will also find it a better solution for such applications prototype design, packaging design and digital cataloging.  

The Cobalt Design is a tripod-mounted scanner, not a handheld. The platform has 360-degree automated movement to ensure full scan coverage. If similar objects are to be scanned, the user can program a routine to automate scan movement from one object to the next. 

FARO bundles its recently released RevEng software platform with the Cobalt Design scanner. The full-featured design tool receives scan data and turns it into workable data. RevEng sports a modern user interface for easy use. It offers tools for mesh generation and point cloud editing editing, and for preparing the model for downstream CAD development. Remember, this is a full-color scanner. You’ll get more than just geometry with every scan. With full color, downstream users can gain insight into the model, when they only have the model file and not the original object. A color scan allows visual differentiation between materials and textures with more insight into composition detail.  

For more details about full color processing, scan data density and more, be sure to read this week’s Product Brief. Thanks again for reading; we’ll be back next week with another Editor’s Pick of the Week. 

—The DE Editors

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