An idea of 3D scanning a bathtub may seem a little bit shocking. When you hear, that it happened in Russia, the project becomes even more absurd. Keep calm. It’s just one of orders realised by a Russian manufacturer of 3D scanners – Thor3D at request of Triton LLC – a Russian tub and Jacuzzi-maker.

The customer offers  over a hundred models of bathtubs and each one had its unique shape and size. Moreover, each model had its own “matrix”, which means “master shape”. It was used as the base around which acrylic sheets were spread and then cooled to create a perfectly smooth and beautiful bathtub. Problems occur, when the matrix is made from aluminium or composite materials, which are meant to only last approximately 3 years. With time, they erode, crack and wear out, which causes imperfections to appear in the final product.

Triton LLC decided to create a new master shape. However, replicating of complex curvatures of the design by hand is almost impossible and when CAD drawings exist. Triton technicians called Thor3D specialist to help reverse engineer create all of their matrices.

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To digitize these matrices, we used the Thor3D scanner and large, sticky markers (11mm in radius). We tried to scan the whole object in one go, which took approximately two minutes, but in order to walk around it, we had to move each one to the center of the workspace, which proved a bit cumbersome, as these matrices weighed quite a bit. Another challenge was sunlight. The warehouse where all the master models were stored had large double doors which were wide-open and the sun was shining directly at us. We quickly realized that the doors had to be closed, as direct sunshine is a real challenge for a white light scanner.

The 3D scanned models required post-processing, which took about 15 minutes.  Data were converted to .STEP format using a special plug-in in SolidWorks. They will be used to create new master forms for bathtubs and Jacuzzis.

Although the task seem to be untypical, the Russians showed, that you can’t think about limitations, when you have an innovative 3D scanner, produced in your country.

Source: press release

Paulina Winczewska
German philologist and translator, fanatic of the strangest and the most difficult foreign languages and culinary experiments, who is not afraid of new technologies and gadgets. Enthusiast of swimming.

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