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Report about the 3D digitisation of a steam engine housing

3D digitisation of the housing half of a low pressure steam engine (Siemens AG / Muehlheim) with the terrestric laser scanner Surphaser model 100HSX-SR.

For the proof of dimensional stability against the CAD model it is necessary to scan the inside as complete as possible and to scan the outside at relevant areas. A sufficient coverage is achieved with a total of 7 scans: One front scan (Figure 1, pos. 3), two scans from underneath and 4 horizontal scans at the corner positions (pos. 4-7).
Top view of scan positions for digitizing the cast component of a steam turbine

Figure 1: The top view shows the 7 scan positions. The positions 1-3 are from underneath to scan the internal surface.


Digitsation of a large steam engine housing using Surphaser scanner

Figure 2: Housing half with Surphaser underneath (at scan position 1 of 7).

10 contrast targets are distributed in the scan volume for the referenzing of the scans against each other. Figure 3 (animation) shows the outside scan images with the automatically extracted target positions.

The scans are automatically referenced in the post processing software.

Images of the outside scans

Figure 3: Some scan data images with referencing targets.


• Scanner
• Number of scans:
• Scan time:
• Objekt size
• 3D points:
• point density:
• Referen cing accuracy:
• Post processing:

Surphaser HSX100-SR
2 hours
90 millions
0.1mm RMS
15 minutes calculation time for the fully automatic referencing.

Courtesy of Siemens AG / Muehlheim.

 Figure 4: Animation of the merged point cloud. (Visualized are only 10% of the data set)

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