May 14, 2010

For 25 years our interior-design company, Anthony Chao, has specialized in silk-fabric products. From our origins in California we have built a primary presence in China over the last five years, establishing four Shanghai locations.

About two years ago we decided to expand from fabric-based pieces into custom furniture reproductions. That decision brought us into a product area that is much more “3D” than the fabric operation. Our core products—bedding, drapery, upholstery, even hand-painted wallpaper—are a challenge to produce at the highest standards, but furniture poses very different challenges.

It was because we knew the potential of 3D scanning that we even considered furniture production. We understood that 3D scanning’s reverse-engineering capabilities would enable us to create reproductions at super-high quality. We only needed to find a scanner unit and software that performed properly and reliably.

After studying many scanners from a variety of manufacturers we made the right choice choosing EScan from 3D Digital Corp. Training was of course highly important—we accomplished this through online video conferencing with Satish at 3D Digital headquarters. He was very helpful in building our understanding of how the product works. Since Satish was new at scanning furniture we both faced a bit of a learning curve. Initially we ran into a few issues getting enough detail out of the scans and then piecing them together. But after some trial-and-error we had our staff well skilled in a working system for large and small items.

The EScan, versus competing products, has been the simplest to use, superior in user-friendliness to other units on the market. One competitor’s model that we demo’d required the application of an immense number of paper adhesive dots, which take hours to put in place and are difficult to remove. Compared to other scanners we looked at, the eScan was able to get the job done relatively easily.

Using eScan, even large objects like full-size sofas can be captured using some tape and black markers to create recognizable surface points. Each of the scans we took merged effectively, creating a CAD file that locked in very intricate and beautiful carving of the original piece.

If at any time we ran into problems or issues, Satish would do some problem-solving and think of new ways to capture the scans and merge them accurately.
After a software upgrade the processing speed time was reduced significantly.

I look forward to continuing our valuable work with the EScan system and producing furniture pieces that continually please our highly discerning clientele.

Lyman Chao
Anthony Chao
Shanghai, China