About What We do

About Us

Daniel Ferguson is the founder of Global Inspection Solutions. He holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University, and has been applying cutting edge technology to everyday problems for his entire engineering career. With a passion for all things 3D, he founded Bluegalaxy Design, to apply 3D scanning technology to help designers and fabricators recreate complicated shapes. In response to growing interest from local manufacturing and businesses in the Portland area, he launched Global Inspection Solutions to start applying the same technology to 3D inspection, reverse engineering, and 3D visualization in Portland and all over the world. Daniel is a life-long Oregonian and dedicated to empowering businesses and individuals with the new possibilities available with 3D scanning technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 3D digitization?

3D digitization (sometimes 3D scanning) is a method of capturing the external surface geometry of an object as digital 3D. All 3D digitizing processes collect a series of 3D points, either by means of a touch probe, which collects one point at a time, or by our process, which is able to sample an entire surface in a few seconds. Results can vary from a few sample points, to a million or more per scan.

What is white-light scanning?

White-light scanning works very much the same as laser scanning, except it substitutes a sequential pattern of light in place of a laser line. In most cases, white-light scanning can produce 3D scans much faster than a laser and with superior surface detail and clarity.

Can you create surfaces from those 3D points?

The fastest and easiest way to generate a surface from the sampled points is to create a triangulated surface mesh, where every cluster of three points is connected with a tiny triangular surface. Triangulated (or meshed) surfaces can be extremely detailed, and accurately reproduce the external geometry of a part. Meshed surfaces can be used to generate photo realistic 3D renderings, can be printed directly in 3D, and can be used to generate machine toolpaths in limited applications.

Can I use a scan mesh in my 3D CAD program?

Generally speaking, no. While many CAD packages can view triangulated surface meshes, and use them as a visual reference, they do not behave the same as CAD surfaces. Most CAD packages deal with a different kind of surface, which is made up of curves and splines, rather than a bunch of 3D points. Before a scanned surface can be manipulated in 3D cad, it must first be reverse engineered into a CAD surface. This can be tricky, depending on your software tools and proficiency with 3D CAD. We have a lot of experience generating CAD parts from scanned data, and can help you through the process.

Can I use a scanned mesh to generate CNC toolpaths?

We have processes for generating G-Code and CNC toolpaths straight from the raw scan data, and can probably help you with your project if you don't have the capacity to do it yourself. We have found that 3D scans are an excellent way to reproduce complicated sculptures and carvings, and reliably reproduce the smallest details.

What type of objects can you scan?

Our scanner gets the best results on smooth surfaces that have even color. Plaster, skin, wood, textiles, painted components and most plastics scan very well. We generally apply a removable surface coating on shiny surfaces, such as chrome, glass, and machined metal to improve the scanning, but it is not always required.

Can you scan inside of a closed part?

No. The only non-destructive method for seeing the inside of a closed part is to use an X-ray. CT scanners use X-rays to generate 3D data, but we do not currently use a CT scanner. We can often reconstruct the inside of a part using a mold or other tricks, so feel free to contact us with your project.

Can you scan inside deep pockets and holes?

Because we use an optical process, we do have some limitations when scanning deep pockets and holes. Generally, our scanner can see into a hole approximately as deep as the diameter of the hole. That means we can reliably capture 1" deep into a 1" diameter hole. Even with these limitations, we can generally collect the minimum required sample measurements to correctly locate a hole for GD&T inspection.

Can you scan my car?

Yes.

Can you scan my face?

Yes, if you sit still.

Can you scan my dog?

That depends on your dog. Scanned objects need to remain stationary for the 2 seconds required to make a good scan, but we have never said no to an interesting project, and always get good result. Feel free to ask about any projects you have in mind.

How large a part can you scan? How small?

We have successfully scanned objects as large as 2m (6'-0") in a single scan, with data points spaced 1.5mm (.060") apart. We can take multiple scans and digitally reassemble them to capture even larger items. On the small side, we have scanned items as small as 6mm (1/4") and created a mesh with points only .025mm apart (.001").

Can you scan my house?

Probably not, although there are local services, such as i-10 Associates that deal exclusively with large structures and architectural scans.

How much does it cost?

We keep our overhead low, and have kept the price of 3D scanning accessible. We believe 3D scanning is a powerful tool, and can benefit artists, designers, engineers, and animators in new ways. Generally, we can provide reverse engineering and 3D inspection services for the same price as traditional 3D CAD modeling and 3D CMM inspection, with much better results.

How long does it take?

Most projects can be turned around in a week. For 3D digitization only, we can often deliver data the same day.

How can I get in contact with you?

Please go to our contacts page and send a generally inquiry, or contact our engineers directly for specific questions.