The 3-D Rapid Digitizer was developed in 1992 as a high speed surface perception system for the storage of data from plaster models for medical orthotic and prosthetic applications. The 1/30 second exposure time allowed essentially unlimited digital storage of the large volume of physical models produced by the modern orthotic and prosthetic fabrication laboratory. When a replacement appliance was needed, the digital model was recalled and sent to a computer controlled milling machine for reproduction, eliminating costly warehousing of physical models.
In 1992 a multiple view, full field system was constructed to enable 360 degree coverage of the target surface. Three separate scanning units were arranged around a common axis. The object under study was digitized in turn by each arm of the system. The data sets were then automatically combined in software to reproduce the original surface. This device was built to the specifications of a Japanese shoe manufacturer to enable digitization of the feet of a representative cross-section of the population; facilitating computer modeling of more accurate shoe lasts.
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