23 January 2018 | Article

The use of 3D Scanning Technology offer customers a seamless speed in the design and development of prototypes thus shortening the overall concept to market lead time.

Foam Products utilises the latest portable hand-held 3D scanning technology to design and develop packaging and components made of Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam. This technology expedites the tooling design process by delivering accurate and high resolution 3D scans, which eliminates the need to physically measure and produce ‘hand-model’ samples utilising 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) software.

Recently, Foam Products used their 3D scanner at an automotive customer’s premise. They reverse engineered and designed a new packaging directly after scanning an automobile hood and utilising the scanned data on CAD to produce an EPS sample with a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) modelling machine.  

The customer approved the design sample without the need for any changes and placed an order for the tooling, all within a few days of the initial enquiry. The final design prototype was then used for manufacturing the automobile hood’s moulding tool.

The portability of the 3D scanner makes it ideal for onsite customer visits, as you can size and measure a product or a component in a confined space. Providing customers with a seamless and efficient service as part of the design and development process stimulates product innovation. This stimulus is further enhanced with shorter lead times and reliable support from Foam Products.

The portable 3D scanner is a fantastic asset to the company. With six scanning lasers, the accuracy and quality of the scanned data is excellent. In addition, we get instant results to work with. Our previous scanner was site based requiring the shipment of customer’s product to our facility for scanning or working with hand drawn designs. Having a portable 3D scanner is a great advantage, as we can go to our customers’ preferred locations for ease and speed of process. Another advantage is related to cost and time savings; as we can produce samples which fit the first time with little or no design amendments to be made.

— Richard Williams, Foam Products, Project Engineering Manager

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