“Don’t bend to technology…”
At 8tree, we love and care about technology. But technology should always serve a purpose, and we believe this purpose should be to make your life easier. As Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief of the MIT Technology Review puts it simply:
“Don’t bend to technology, bend technology to your needs.”
We live by such words and have spent the last 4 years (4 very solid years) “bending” the well-known technology of “White Light Scanning” to suit the needs of mechanics & technicians on the shop floor and in the field. These workers have an often understated role in swaying manufacturing and maintenance efficiency. They don´t always have the time, or the technical background, to deal with complex scientific tools, engineering software or hard-to-understand configuration settings. Technology best serves these individuals when it intuitively solves their problems and allows them to do their jobs better and faster.
With this in mind, we design all of our products to solve very specifically-defined chronic industry problems. We solve these problems by applying a combination of 2D and 3D image processing.
The following 5 goals and principles are our golden rules. You can think of them as the core of all our products at 8tree:
All in One:
One System – One Button – One Second
Unlike most other inspection systems, an 8tree system is fully self-contained and portable – just one box in a compact and light weight form-factor. All you need is in there. Nothing more is needed to operate it – no power supply, no cables, no monitor, no keyboard. Just press the blue button and within one second* the result is clearly projected on the part, colored in red, green or blue to tell you what’s in and what’s out of tolerance.
(*) OK, not all of the modules are that fast yet. But we are working on it. Some product modules may take a few seconds longer to give you the pass/fail results.
Ease of use
We believe in Usability Engineering. It’s where we spend most of our time and constantly ask ourselves how we can make a product where the technology is transparent to you. We think of ways to hide all the complexity of a traditional 3D scanning and image processing system so that it’s simple for the operator to use – as simple as taking a photo with your cell phone. This includes automatically checking for brightness, distance, movement, contrast, reflection etc.
The key to ease-of-use is the User Interface. Our vision required new ways to operate an inspection system. Instead of a keyboard, the scanner is controlled with buttons on the housing, or a small remote control (like a TV set). There are no complex menus to navigate or boxes to fill in order to change settings. If a new setting is required, simply present one of our credit-card sized QR codes to the camera and you are done!
Transferring the result data is equally as easy: simply plug in a USB stick or drive and all the underlying data will transfer automatically. Alternatively, data can automatically be transferred wirelessly to any location you choose – all you need to do is push a button!
The response time of a system is one of the key things to consider when taking into account Usability Engineering during design. Thanks to Jakob Nielsen’s seminal work in this field, here are some lessons we have learned:
“…there are three important limits to device response times: 0.1 second for immediate response, 1 second for uninterrupted user workflow, and 10 seconds for keeping a user’s attention.”
That’s why we make every effort to ensure that each 8tree system gives you a result within 1 second, and definitely always in less than 10! For more details, here is one of our papers on this topic in QualityDigest: Usability Engineering:
Accuracy and Consistency
We do everything (legally and ethically, of course), to improve the ease-of-use, speed and portability of our products. But, there is one thing we will never do: compromise the quality of our measurements. In the course of our collaboration with Airbus and in performing ten thousands of measurements (literally!) we reached an enviable level of measurement uncertainty.
Our performance has been approved by the LNE, the French National Lab for Metrology & Testing (Laboratoire national de métrologie et d’essais). We are proud to say that dentCHECK® delivers a depth measurement uncertainty of +/- 50 µm and fastCHECK® produces an even tighter flushness uncertainty of +/- 25 µm. Both are specified within a 2-sigma confidence level. These numbers convinced Airbus to use the systems for manufacturing purposes.
Furthermore, they are now openly recommending it to their airline customers by listing it in the official Airbus Structural Repair Manuals (SRM). To guarantee this performance, each 8tree system comes with a Certified Traceability Report that proves the measurement quality.
Augmented Reality (AR)
What is it? Although, it’s a common term in consumer electronics, AR is only starting to appear in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. AR-based “projection of results” onto the inspected surface has been an integral feature of every 8tree system ever since we shipped our first system a few years ago.
We use AR for several reasons:
•To make the computer monitor obsolete
•To give immediate & actionable feedback on the physical part
•To create an easy-to-understand link between the part geometry and the representation of results
By applying AR in such a manner, we’re able to make you work more efficiently and reliably while ensuring that the technology bends to your needs
My name is Erik Klaas. I care about 3d technology and user experience. I am one of the co-founders of 8tree and we started the company with the vision to make powerful yet easy to use 3d inspection systems that empower the operator. fastCHECK, dentCHECK and stepCHECK are only the first products along our way to give access to high-speed and high-precision 3d scanners with a single click of button. Don´t hesitate to ask how we can assist your 3d inspection needs.