3D Scanning and Silicone Casting

Capture & Produce Geometry: Inside & Out | 3D Printing the Final Product in PEEK
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Our customer is a worldwide manufacturer of laboratory equipment.   They often deal with containers that need to connect via a threaded coupler.  Being worldwide, this sometimes means one container has english threads (or standard, here in the U.S.), and the mating component as metric threads.  These custom couplers are often purchased items, however with the all the supply chain issues plaguing industry over the past year or so, they have decided to reverse engineer some of their current designs and use a 3D printer to manufacture these items in house.


Reverse engineering complex parts by hand can be challenging, especially with items that have internal geometry or non-standard geometry such as metric bottle threads.


NeoMetrix was able to overcome this challenge through the use of 3D scanning.  Since these components have internal geometry that can not be directly scanned with an optical scanner, NeoMetrix engineers employed the technique of silicone casting to capture the internal geometry.  The cast can then be scanned with the Creaform HandyScan Black Elite, along with the exterior part.  Both data sets can then be aligned in Geomagic Design X and used to generate the final 3D CAD model.  The final CAD model is then converted to an STL and 3D printed on the INTAMSYS 410 3D printer in PEEK.  PEEK is a high performance engineering grade plastic known for mechanical strength as well as chemical resistance, making it the ideal choice for this application.

Silicone Cast of Internal Threads

Original & 3D Printed PEEK Replacement

Assembly Showing a Perfict Fit

Exetrior Scan Data

Silicone Cast

Final CAD Model

Section View Final CAD – Showing Internal Threads

Other Food Safe 3D Printing Materials:

PLA, PP, co-polyester, PET, PET-G, HIPS, and nylon-6, as well as some brands of ABS, ASA, and PEI


3D scanning combined with silicone casting allows for the capture of the most complex geometry:  inside and out.  Geomagic Design X enables the user to then quickly create CAD files to document existing parts, and finally, 3D printing on the INTAMSYS 410  allows for in-house manufacturing eliminating supply chain issues. 



Geomagic Design X

HandySCAN Black Elite

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