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Thread: Newbie Question

  1. #1

    Newbie Question

    Even though I am new to the world of 3D printing I have heard a lot about it. But I am still green and have a million questions.

    Right now I am looking to create a custom part that will fit into something that I have in my truck. i want to be able to take something that is currently there and be able to modify it (what I want printed) to connect into that to be able to get what I am trying to achieve. This isn?t an engine component or anything, it is more for air conditioning.

    So if I have the current part that I want to start working with and design something different that will meet what I am looking for, how would I go about scanning that part into a software or something like that to start the design process?

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    yeah, we get this a lot.

    Unless you have a local print bureau who also do a scanning service - then scanning is NOT the way to go.

    It's actually much quicker and easier to measure the existing part - digital calipers are your best friend - and design the new one from scratch.
    I use openscad, which is excellent for this kind of thing.

    If you want any kind of accuracy and something that can detect voids then you're not goign to get any change from $3000 for a desktop scanner.

    The best current alternative is an app that works with the new iphones - and this is absolutely the ONLY circumstance where I will recommend anyone ever buy any apple product EVER !
    https://3dprintboard.com/showthread....D-Scanning-app

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    yeah, we get this a lot.

    Unless you have a local print bureau who also do a scanning service - then scanning is NOT the way to go.

    It's actually much quicker and easier to measure the existing part - digital calipers are your best friend - and design the new one from scratch.
    I use openscad, which is excellent for this kind of thing.

    If you want any kind of accuracy and something that can detect voids then you're not goign to get any change from $3000 for a desktop scanner.

    The best current alternative is an app that works with the new iphones - and this is absolutely the ONLY circumstance where I will recommend anyone ever buy any apple product EVER !


    thank you for this information. i dont really know if i have anything around me that would be able to do the scanning for me. i have been doing some reading and found that you have do phototometery (totally hacked the spelling) but not sure if that is going to give me what i am looking for.


    i think that doing this from scratch is going to work out best. looks like digital calipers is the first tool that i will need to pick up.


    oh and even for this i would never buy an apple product. i would rather just give up! lol


    thanks again for your help

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Designing it yourself has a number of benefits.

    With a scan, you can adjust the overall size - but not the size or shape of any individual component.
    You've got the basic file so can use parts on other projects. With openscad this is particularly easy - it's just copying and pasting some text :-)

    Plus you learn a lot about designing by backwards engineering a part.

    Apple still use lcd screens - even cheap android phones use led based screens that are stronger, brighter, use less power and won't die if you accidentally leave it in the car overnight in winter.
    I'll just leave that there :-)

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