Archive for November, 2020

How can 3D scanning and printing be helpful for reverse engineering?

Posted on: November 24th, 2020 by Steven No Comments

Reverse engineering is a powerful way to create digital designs from a physical product or part of a product, and it is a process in which these products/parts are deconstructed to extract design information from them.

3D scanners are capable of measuring very complex parts very quickly and turn them into digital files which can then be used to recreate the part you have measured by 3D printing it. This is very useful for manufacturers as it can save a lot of time and it allows them to design 3D parts that are exact replicas of the object they have measured.

This process is very important when trying to reverse engineer. The reason for this is because, over the years, machines will lower in quality; they might need upgrading or a part of the machine might break. When this happens, you will need to replace whatever piece of the machine has broken and this is not always possible to do. If the piece you are trying to replace is old, for example, you might not have access to the original 2D drawings anymore, and this is when 3D scanning and printing come into place.

Reverse engineering is important when you want to create new parts that incorporate older designs, and in some cases, reverse engineering might be the only solution to obtain the original product/part design.

Reverse engineering is actually quite a straightforward process, but the first step is to find the 3D scanner that best fits your needs.

Manchester Metrology Ltd is a leading supplier of 3D scanners, 3D trackers and 3D printers. We have 4 top of the range 3D printers available to hire or use as a service – these include Project 460 Plus, Figure 4, Fabpro 1000 and Markforged 2.

Manchester Metrology Ltd also offers a Reverse Engineering service to produce true to form 3D data in .stl file formats. We are pioneers and innovators of metrology offering specialist contract measurement services using the latest metrology technology and equipment. Offering support across the UK and worldwide, our attention to detail and helpful attitude towards our customers are among the many positive attributes which distinguish the company as a benchmark metrology company.

We also supply a new generation of scanners: the HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite hand-held scanners continue to be the reference stand in professional, metrology grade portable 3D scanning. Now in its 3rd generation, the new HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite has been optimized to meet the needs of design, manufacturing and metrology professionals looking for the most effective and reliable way to acquire 3D measurements of physical objects anywhere.

You can read more about all our products and services here, or please call us on 0161 637 8744.

Jaco van Gass and his ambition of joining the British Armed Forces

Posted on: November 12th, 2020 by Steven No Comments

The Situation

South African-born Jaco van Gass came to Britain at the age of 20, to pursue his ambition of joining the British Armed Forces.

After completing his training, he joined the Parachute Regiment, and was deployed to Afghanistan. It was during his second tour of the country that he sustained life-changing injuries, losing his left arm below the elbow after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Following his injury, van Gass has undertaken a number of incredible physical challenges and made his international para-cycling debut in 2013.

After being reclassified as a C3, he won a silver in the road race in Emmen in 2019, before enjoying an outstanding 2020 track world championships. He won pursuit silver before capturing three golds – in the kilo, scratch race and omnium – to underline his talent. Manchester Metrology was approached in order to perform various scans to enable the engineering of a new prosthetic limb.


The Challenge

Using the Creaform Metrascan, Manchester Metrology was able to perform the scans quickly reducing the amount of time needed while Jaco held various positions which helped reduce the amount of postprocessing removing any overlapping scan data from movement. There was still an element of movement due to Jaco’s breathing, but scans were taken of his arm, chest and leg (down one side) in order to achieve the correct position while riding.

Manchester Metrology needed to take multiple scans of Jaco in the following positions:

In position on the bike

The bike connecting socket to the prosthesis

The prothesis itself

The sock

His arm

Jaco’s Positioning


The Bike Socket


The Prosthetic


The Merged Scans

The Manchester Metrology Solution

Once all the scan data was gathered Manchester Metrology did post processing to remove any noise and overlapping data, for Jaco’s arm the scan was split into separate files as there was a lot of movement and we needed to realign the separate sections. After all the scan data was cleaned up Manchester Metrology then aligned the “master” (Jaco in position) to an origin and then aligned the separate pieces of scan data to their respective locations on the “master”. From there all the data in the new alignment was exported in their separate states and another file with all the data merged together.

The Results

Manchester Metrology used the Creaform Metrascan and were able to merge the data together and do separate scans of the individual sections. This allowed them to capture data that you could not reach with line of sight from the initial position and by scanning  them separately and aligning them back up to the original position a fuller picture was created.



5x more accurate

12x faster with 7 laser crosses

25% lighter

Scan any type of material, even black, multi-coloured and shiny surfaces

Greater volume of 16.6 m3(586 ft3)

Sturdy design for shop-floor hardware reliability

Multi-function buttons for easier interaction with the software