Major Guitar Company Relies on Contex HD iFLEX for 3D Manufacturing Workflow

The challenge

A world famous guitar company needed digital representation of its guitars for their 3D manufacturing workflow. Digital photography was ruled out because of the challenge of reproducing a one-to-one ratio. A flatbed scanner was ideal, but outsourcing this function was too time consuming.

The solution

An in-house Contex HD iFLEX flatbed scanner, with its accommodating design and full 600 x 600 dpi optical resolution, makes it easy for staffers to capture uneven objects - like a guitar - in a single, high-resolution scan.

Benefits & results

The HD iFLEX is a must-have for this guitar manufacturer, delivering a strong ROI for the handful of scans it produces monthly. The Contex scanner provides a true one-to-one ratio and within seconds of a scan, the image is easily integrated into the manufacturer’s 3D workflow.

What do Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton and the Contex HD iFLEX wide format scanner have in common? They have all held guitars made from a world famous west-coast manufacturer. For years, this guitar manufacturer used a Contex flatbed in its production process. The scanner captured digital representations of the body, neck, and pickguard of new or old guitars, then created 3D models using SOLIDWORKS. In this streamlined workflow, the Contex scanner has become such an office staple that staffers could not imagine being without it.

When the time came to upgrade to a newer, faster wide format scanner, the manufacturer’s R&D staff briefly entertained the idea of outsourcing this function. However, the scanner was much too integrated into the design process, so they opted for the Contex HD iFLEX flatbed scanner.

The HD iFLEX captures drawings and objects within seconds, while consistently delivering high-quality images. Now, designers achieve high-quality scans in under five seconds, compared to one minute with the older scanner.

Convenience of a Contex Scanner

Before purchasing its first Contex scanner, staffers considered using photography to capture the different parts of a guitar. This posed a challenge because designers needed the image to have a 1:1 ratio to the actual guitar in order to make a useful template.

A local reprographic shop advised that scanning was the only viable option, so designers had to bring over tracings of the guitars since the shop didn’t have a flatbed scanner. The resulting scans lacked the necessary quality and accuracy that designers needed.

Now, with the HD iFLEX, the designers benefit from the scanner’s flexibility and Contex technology. Although the scanner is only used four to five times a month, they knew the convenience of having a scanner in-house would make the purchase a worthwhile investment.

The HD Ultra’s adjustable lid, which accommodates originals and materials of varying dimensions, allows the designers to easily scan the various parts of the guitar. Additionally, a single CCD camera ensures that these parts are captured in detail without any distortion. Most importantly, the HD iFLEX helps the designers complete their projects in a fraction of the time of both the old scanner and local reprographic shop.

Maintaining Craftsmanship While Reducing Handwork

From time to time, the guitar manufacturer receives special requests for certain guitar body and neck shapes. In cases like this, the design team uses the HD iFLEX to scan a new shape, then designs a 3D model to meet the new request. The part is then shaped with the CNC machine. This process brings designers closer to the final product shape, and reduces the amount of time spent on handwork.

The HD iFLEX scanner makes the manufacturing process easier and eliminates some of the manual work, while maintaining the integrity of the manufacturer’s craftsmanship.

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