Finite Element Geometry Creation Using Three-Dimensional Laser Profilometry

[+] Author and Article Information
N. Jordache, S. M. Pandit, K. M. Cronin

Department of Mechanical Engineering—Engineering Mechanics, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 121(1), 87-92 (Feb 01, 1999) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2830580 History: Received April 01, 1995; Revised October 01, 1997; Online January 17, 2008


Obtaining a complete view of a general 3D object has been of increasing importance in topographical measurements. This is particularly useful in 3D solid modeling, robotic 3D vision, quality control, numerically controlled machining, dimensional measurement and control for sheet metal forming, and other industrial applications. In this paper we use a phase-measuring technique initially developed for conventional interferometry to create a digitized map of a formed sheet metal surface. The resulting mesh data are converted into nodes and elements and imported into a finite element package for structural analysis via a translator. The procedure yields significant time savings in the part geometry modeling task for objects with complex surfaces which need a finite element analysis. Necessary theoretical review is provided for those with laser profilometry backgrounds and no prior FEA experience as well as FEA analysts without prior laser profilometry background. The paper aims at developing an awareness of combining these two existing technologies to advance product engineering analysis.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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