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3D Measurement

Accurate data helps improve productivity

Physical Digital’s 3D Structured Light (3DSL) measurement bureau service is a fast, highly accurate and cost-effective way to produce a digital representation of a physical object. As the UK’s largest service provider of non-contact GOM optical metrology systems, our specialist team is able to capture complex free-form surface geometries, providing your engineers with the vital information needed to assist product design, refine production processes and improve product efficiency.

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3d Scanning Service, Physical Digital

Reliable data helps businesses reduce time and save money

With the highest 3D measurement resolution capability in the UK and a wealth of experience across multiple sectors, our fully-trained application team can capture data in precise detail for single and multi-part assemblies. The valuable data supplied will support your research and development, competitor bench-marking, product design optimisation and manufacture, quality inspection as well as stress and performance analysis.

Offering full flexibility to our clients, we are able to carry out 3D measurement at our specially designed measurement facility or we can complete measurement on-site at your premises using our mobile equipment, therefore reducing your overall downtime and increasing productivity.

Our facility in Surrey is home to our environmentally controlled measurement cell, which is maintained at a temperature of 20┬░. This constant temperature helps to reduce the thermal expansion of materials, therefore ensuring the highest level of accuracy is achieved for our customers.

If you require our expertise in programming your own GOM 3D ScanBox systems, this service can be provided on a consultancy basis. More information can be found on our automated measurement page.

More about 3D measurement services

3D measurement for industry

3D optical measurement is used by many industry sectors as a method of capturing the full surface geometry of a physical object for research and development, product design and manufacture, quality inspection, stress and performance analysis and competitor bench-marking. The industries we most commonly service are Aerospace, Automotive and Power Generation, as our measurement solutions are widely recognised as an accurate, reliable and traceable way to gather data of products. However, our service offering expands across a huge number of sectors within the manufacturing arena, with our team capturing data for artists, jewellery designers, architects, model makers and tool designers. The list really is endless.

3D Structured Light (3DSL)

Three-Dimensional Structured Light (3DSL) is used to project a phase-shifting fringe pattern onto the surface of the object which records data using the stereo camera principle. The narrow-band blue light enables precise measurements to be carried out independently of environmental lighting conditions, improving overall accuracy.

Using triangulation principles, the sensor accurately measures the divergence and convergence of the pattern, creating a high density point cloud of surface measurements.

Photogrammetry is used in conjunction with 3DSL when measuring large objects such as cars, boats, trains and planes, as it vastly increases the scanning area whilst reducing large deviation errors.

Using specialist software, the data is converted into a polygon mesh which can be inspected directly to a Computer Aided Design (CAD) model or fully reverse engineered ready for re-manufacture, used for analysis or further Computer Aided Engineering (CAE).


Photogrammetry is the science of making measurements from multiple photographs. The output of photogrammetry can be in the form of points, colour error maps, drawings or 3D models.

Photo means ‘light’, gram means ‘drawing’ and -metry means ‘measurement’.

The GOM TRITOP system requires a DLSR camera with a fixed focus and flash so that each image will have the same exposure and pixel definition, essential to maintaining consistency. The TRITOP software identifies coded markers which are placed on and/or around the object and each image can be orientated within the project as long as a number of these coded markers are visible.

Once all the images are orientated together the software will identify un-coded markers placed on/or around the object by identifying the change in contrast from the black to white areas. The scale bars are identified using specific coded markers and are inspected against a nominal value. Using two or more bars will give a deviation of the measurement series. This system can be used as a standalone measurement system or to capture a reference point cloud which can be used by an optical scanner. When used in conjunction with 3D scanning, photogrammetry can help reduce deviation on larger-scale objects such as complete aircrafts.

The cost of 3D measurement

How much does 3D measurement cost? The cost of a 3D measurement project can vary greatly from client to client. When quoting a project we consider the following factors:

Is this a single or multiple-part scan?

Our automated measurement facility offers a cost benefit to scanning multiple parts, from ten to hundreds of parts, the cost will reduce dependent on the number.

Size and complexity of the object to be scanned

The more detail there is to capture, the more time it will take.

Is this mobile, on-site measurement or will the part be delivered to our facility?

Our engineering team can come to your site to conduct mobile measurement for a daily fee. The number of parts and complexity of parts that can be achieved within a single days measurement support will vary.

Are any post-processing services required?

We can provide the raw scan data however, we are able to provide you with in-depth inspection reports or our expert in-house design team can reverse engineer a surface model into CAD and provide manufacturing drawings. Each add on-service will of course affect the overall quote.

3D measurement case studies

What is Hybrid Modelling?

The benefits of automated 3D Scanning

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Contact us now to find out how our 3D optical measurement services can support your project and deliver outstanding results.

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