Quality control is the linchpin of the manufacturing industry. It has traditionally involved manual inspection tools and coordinate measurement machines (CMM), which were great at maintaining precision in manufacturing. However, technology never stops advancing, and the sector has been evolving to incorporate more innovative means. One such technological wizardry has been the introduction of 3D scanning in quality control.

Read on to learn more.

Evolution of Precision Inspection

The transformation in the field of precision inspection has been dramatic and centered around improving efficiency and accuracy in quality control. The evolution can be discussed considering two primary periods:

1. Traditional Quality Control Methods

  • Manual Tools: Primarily, industries used basic measurement devices like gauges and rulers. Though simple, they served their purpose for straightforward measurements. 
  • Progress to CMM: As industries expanded and precision became critical, there was a shift to more advanced and automated tools, like Coordinate Measurement Machines (CMM). CMMs marked a significant step forward in terms of precision and automation. 
  • Labor-intensive Process: Noticing the potential drawbacks, these tools required manual data entry. Data derived from physical forms had to be re-entered into digital platforms, a tedious and labor-intensive process leading to potential errors.

2. Introduction to 3D Scanning

  • Digital Inspection: 3D scanning heralds a new era of digital inspection methods, eliminating the drawbacks of physical data entry methods. As a result, the early weariness of data transition was wholly eliminated. 
  • Use of 3D Printers: With the availability of high-accuracy 3D printers, the scanning process became significantly quicker and more accurate. It promised a minimal error margin which was much needed for advancing industries. 
  • Repeatability: Besides speed and accuracy, another added advantage was the repeatability of results. 3D scanning could consistently provide precise measurements, which was beyond the scope of traditional manual inspection means. 
  • Reduced Tediousness: One of the most notable outcomes of 3D scanning adoption in inspection is that it significantly reduced the tediousness associated with conventional inspection methods. It optimized the process, saving time and labor expenses.

The Power of 3D Laser Mapping

1. Measurement Accuracy and Precision in Manufacturing

Laser mapping is at the heart of 3D scanning, which enhances manufacturing parts’ measurement accuracy. Using high-precision laser inspection tools like the high-efficiency Virtek laser projector has been particularly transformative. These tools guarantee an error-free manufacturing process, reducing operational costs and improving product quality.

2. Point Cloud Data and ‘Heat Map’ in Inspection

One of the strengths of 3D laser mapping is its capacity to generate point cloud data. The technology can create a ‘heat map’ for a more effective inspection process by gathering hundreds of thousands or even millions of points in seconds. This data is then analyzed and compared against a CAD model to identify deviations.

3. Data Entry and Digital Inspection

As we enter the digital transformation age, it’s worth highlighting how 3D laser mapping facilitates digitized inspection. This technology eliminates the painstaking process of manual data entry and transition. Using solutions like efficient 3D laser mapping with Virtek IRIS, data points are automatically digitized, minimizing human involvement and reducing the likelihood of error.

Highlights of 3D Scanning in Quality Control

Quality control in the manufacturing industry ensures the produced goods meet specified standards. In this context, 3D scanning boasts several highlights, offering solutions that enhance and simplify the QC process. These key highlights include ensuring repeatability in measurement, providing superior 3D scanner accuracy in inspections, and facilitating seamless CAD model integration and CMM programming.

1. Repeatability in Measurement

In any industrial application, maintaining repeatability in measurements is vital. This entails not just the precision but also the consistency of results across multiple measurements. 3D scanning outperforms this department due to the following aspects: 

  • Superior Consistency: 3D scanning can generate consistent results, minimizing discrepancies associated with manual measurement methods. 
  • Inherent Precision: The technology, by design, assures a high degree of precision, giving accurate results every single time. 
  • High-Quality Standards: By ensuring repeatability in measurements, 3D scanning aids in maintaining high-quality standards for manufacturing processes.

2. 3D Scanner Accuracy

The ability of 3D scanners to detect and inspect complex features on a part accurately is quite unmatched. Here are some ways this technology surpasses traditional CMM measurements: 

  • Enhanced Detailing: 3D scanners can produce a high-resolution, three-dimensional digital representation of an object, capturing even minute details for thorough inspection.
  • Versatility: Whether it’s flatness measurement, concentricity measurement, or any inspection criteria, 3D scanners can measure with high precision. 
  • Rigorous Quality Check: With accurate and detailed inspection, 3D scanners ensure that each manufactured good meets stringent requirements.

3. CAD Model Integration and CMM Programming

Integrating 3D scanning into manufacturing simplifies CMM programming and a better CAD model integration. 

Here is how: 

  • Time Efficiency: 3D scanning curtails the traditionally spent preparing programming associations for inspection. 
  • Improved Compatibility: The scanned data can be easily integrated with CAD models, streamlining the design process. 
  • Simplified Fixturing: Unlike CMM, which demands dedicated and sometimes expensive fixturing, 3D scanning facilitates easy setup of inspection parameters. This eliminates any bottlenecks, making the inspection process more efficient.


3D laser mapping is changing the game in precision inspections, proving its superiority over the traditional quality control methods in the manufacturing sector. By providing high-accuracy 3D scanning, reducing data entry errors, and ensuring measurement repeatability, it is creating substantial improvements in quality control and precision inspection processes. 

Investing in this technology promises tremendous benefits, from cost saving to ensuring top-notch product quality, making it a must-have for manufacturers aiming for precision, efficiency, and quality.