The DAVID SLS-3 is a structured light stationary 3D scanner. It offers high resolution and high-speed scanning. It's a good option for those looking for good results, but not so much for those looking for simplicity and flexibility, given that setting up a proper scanning scene can be troublesome.
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Pro Scanning process is easy
Unlike setup and calibration, the scanning process itself is quite easy. Scanning an object from multiple positions is enough to merge the data and form a 360 degree mesh.
Pro Included software is powerful and intuitive to use
To operate this scanner, you’ll need the HP 3D Scan Software Pro V5 installed on your computer. The software license is bundled with the scanner itself, so you won’t need to buy it separately. The software is simple to use and intuitive, but also quite powerful. It’s divided into three main parts: setup, scanning and shape function. This means that, during the scanning stage, for example, you’ll only be presented with the functions relevant for that stage.
Pro Maximum resolution of 0.05 mm
This 3D scanner can push its resolution to up to 0.05 mm, at 10 cm distance from the object (keep in mind that in order to be able to achieve this result you’ll have to spend hours calibrating the device). The overall result is very impressive, since a 0.05 mm resolution allows to scan objects in great detail. For example, you can theoretically scan a human hair using this scanner. This is a very powerful tool if used properly.
Pro Capable of capturing color
As the unit only has a monochrome camera, color capturing is achieved by measuring reflectivity on the surface of the scanned object.
Pro Plenty of great accessories available
Besides cables and hard cases, this scanner has plenty of accessories to choose from. There’s the TT-1 Automatic Turntable ( $1160.00 ), which makes 360 degree scans easier, or the DSL-1 Desk Scan Lever ( $650.00 ), which gives the scanner some extra free space for more complicated 3D scans. Another notable accessory is the SLS-3 Stereo Camera Upgrade Kit ( $1795.00 ), which improves scan quality by adding a second camera, at the cost of complicating even more the default setup, since both cameras need to be individually calibrated.
Pro Good for teaching purposes
Calibrating this scanner is quite time-consuming and tricky, which can be annoying for regular use, but can be useful for teaching purposes, since the setup process itself helps understanding how structured light 3D scanning works.
Pro Enhanced texture
This scanner's high precision 1080p camera enhances the textures of scanned objects.
Pro Exports into STL, OBJ and PLY formats
This 3D scanner is designed to export purely geometric 3D formats, and is therefore capable of generating STL, OBJ and PLY files, which are more than enough for reverse engineering and geometry editing with most CAD software.
Con Limited workspace
The SLS-3 system is limited by the maximum size of objects it can scan, a problem which exists for pretty much all stationary 3D scanners. This scanner's maximum allowed dimensions are 500 mm in any direction, and it's impossible to use it to scan larger objects, unlike handheld scanners, that can be used to scan objects that are quite big.
Con Harsh calibration procedure
Calibrating the scanner is very unforgiving. You’ll need to find the ideal positions of the cameras, the projector and the object itself just for one scan. You’ll have to adjust the focus, distance and the angle of both the camera and projector manually. After doing all that, you’ll then have to double check everything using the DAVID software. All in all, it’s a very time-consuming effort that needs to be repeated for every new target object.
Con Unintuitive setup
The setup procedure is unintuitive, and requires thoroughly reading the manual. First, you’ll need to connect the DAVID camera and projector to your computer, then you’ll have to install all software and drivers provided in a USB stick, then configure the projector as an extended screen.
Con Resolution drops with distance
As expected with this kind of scanner, resolution drops if you increase the distance to the target object. At a distance of 500 mm from the object, the resolution is only 0.25mm (5 times worst than the resolution at 100 mm).