We run a CNC and Drafting program at Suncoast High School in Florida. We pride ourselves in teaching information about up-to-date technologies. We wanted to expand our programs to include reverse engineering, so we chose to start by getting a 3D laser scanner.

We purchased the 3DD Corp Escan 3D Scanner from a reseller. We did not have too much trouble in setting it up and getting our first scans. During this first year, we were very satisfied with just scanning an object, and viewing the drawing. We gave each of our 30 students a chance to scan something. Some scanned another student’s face. At this stage, the excitement seemed to be limited to this fascination. They did learn a great deal about 3 dimensional space and how to represent that in CAD Drawing system. We wanted to teach more.

Some scanned another student's faceWe chose to continue the development of the learning experience with the scanner. We set a goal to expect that a quality scan of an object could be used to manufacture something. We wanted to make the scan into an appropriate drawing, convert and use that drawing in creating a set of CNC steps.

We attempted to contact the original reseller to help us to select software that help us with our teaching goals. Time had passed and we no longer had support. They offered to sell us a maintenance and support contract.

So we contacted the people at the 3D Digital Corp. The met us with enthusiastic support at no cost. First, they recommended affordable software that can convert the scans to create the surface models that we needed for our CNC machine. They helped us in improving our scans, to make it more useful. They provided us with a Webinar to teach us more about how to use the scanner better and the software to make all of the conversions.

These drawings can be converted for use in our CNC milling machinesWe are now teaching a more soup to nuts course in Reverse Engineering at the high school level. Our first class contained 25 eager students. We can teach our students to use their imagination. They can develop a concept from an existing 3D object and scan it. They can modify those drawings to fit their new idea. These drawings can be converted for use in our CNC milling machines and create that product idea into reality.

Students also learned more about a manufacturing process that involves tolerances and manufacturing quality. This kind of teaching provides more than a theory of manufacturing, but a real working environment that is exciting to a student.

Richard Filsinger
Drafting, CNC
Reverse Engineering Classes
Suncoast High School, Florida