How to choose a 3D Scanning Service Company?

When looking to partner with a 3D scanning company for reverse engineering, product development or inspection needs, it’s important to do your research to determine which 3D company best meets your company’s requirements in terms of product quality, budget, timing and experience.

When searching for a 3D scanning partner, here are some questions to consider:
How long have they been in business?
This is key to any company you want to work with. A company in business for a short period of time may not have the experience or customer service you expect or deserve.
EMS has been in business for 15 years and has successfully completed more than 15,000 projects across a wide range of industries. A large percentage of our business comes from referral and repeat customers.
What types of industries do they serve or specialize in?
Just because a company owns a 3D scanner doesn’t mean it is the right fit for your organization or project. For example, a company focused on automotive applications may not have the expertise to 3D scan and CAD model a complete aircraft. A company that 3D scans small medical parts may not have the scanning equipment to do on-site 3D scanning of an industrial pump housing or power generation turbine.
EMS has more than a dozen different types of high quality 3D scanners, as well as numerous mechanical and industrial engineers with significant experience in aerospace, automotive, consumer, medical, industrial, power generation, marine, forensics, and theme parks. Take a look at some of our success stories to get an idea of the work we can do for you.
What complementary services do they offer?
Some companies only offer 3D scanning but what if you need product development services or a prototype 3D Printed when complete?
One of the many advantages of working with EMS is we offer 3D scanning, product development, digital sculpting, CAD modeling, first article inspection, graphic rendering, manufacturing consulting, 3D printing and more. This allows EMS to take your project from concept to a functional prototype or end-use parts if needed.
Do they have a strong web presence and web site?
An outdated or mundane web site might be a reflection on a company’s business, the type and quality of services they offer, and much more.
EMS strives to constantly update their web site with product and service information, detailed industry and application information, customer success stories, demo videos and more. EMS believes in helping educate customers on industry trends and best-in-class products and solutions as part of building strong customer partnerships and long-term relationships.
Do they respond quickly to requests for information or quotes?
Companies that take hours or days to respond to your request for information or quotes may not do much better when it comes time to deliver your project to you on time.
EMS responds to virtually all inquiries within an hour of receipt. We understand that time is often critical for rapid prototyping, inspection and reverse engineering needs, and you need a partner who shares that sense of urgency. At EMS, we are committed to top quality customer service, from initial project contact through project completion and beyond.
Do they explain your quote to you in detail?
Many companies quote projects and leave important information off the quote. Is this intentional or just lack of detail or interest in your project?
Too many times we have customers tell us they don’t know what the competition has quoted them. EMS takes the time to explain to our customers what equipment will be used, what specific CAD or inspection report output they can expect, and an estimated time of completion. We include detailed information on all our quotes. On larger project quotes, our defined scope of work may account for several pages. We believe it’s important that everyone share the same understanding of the project objective, process, deliverable and timing right from the start.
What is important to you for your project?
Is price your main priority? Or quality? Or how quickly you can receive your CAD files? Is it a partner with a specific expertise?
Many customers want to receive competitive quotes, and the differences can usually be found in the details. We often hear about quotes that at first glance are much lower than ours. When we investigate and understand what the competitor is delivering (CAD output options), what equipment they are using, or their experience, the lower cost is usually explained. We often ask customers, “Do you want it done cheaply or done correctly?” EMS is committed to delivering quality products, reasonably priced and delivered on time.
Is the company certified or licensed to work with you? Are there certifications or licenses important to you even if they are not required?
Does the company you want to work with have the certifications is required to do so?
EMS is ITAR certified and possess an FFL (Federal Firearms License). This allows you to work with EMS on government, military and firearms projects with confidence. If other licenses or certifications are required to work in certain industries, the odds are EMS has the certification or is certification compliant.
How often does the company do on-site scanning?
Just because a company claims they do on-site scanning doesn’t mean they are good at it or do it very often. We have heard stories of companies showing up on-site without the right equipment or accessories delaying or even not completing the project.
EMS travels weekly by road or air for on-site 3D scanning projects. We have a mobile 3D scanning lab for regional road travel equipped with generators, 3D Scanning jib arm, safety equipment, and all types of accessories and supplies. This allows us to hit the road on a moment’s notice and know we have everything we need for the job. When air travel makes more sense, EMS has custom cases for all our equipment and accessories to ship directly to your site.
Does the company stand behind its work?
You would think most companies would make things right when there are problems with a project. However when a company bids the work at a low price or has never done certain work before, a customer can often be left hanging.
EMS has a reputation within the industry of making sure projects are done correctly and to the customer’s satisfaction. If they are not, we work in earnest to make them so. This is where a detailed scope of work and accurately defined project pricing become important.
Where is the company located, how many offices do they have?
A company’s physical locations may speak to a company’s size and/or industries they serve.
In addition to its Tampa headquarters, EMS currently maintains regional offices in Detroit and Atlanta. This allows us to be close to certain markets such as Automotive in the North and Aerospace, Defense and Marine in the South.
Does the company outsource their work?
There are some companies that don’t necessarily produce your project in-house. As an example, they might do the 3D scanning but outsource the CAD work to another company. This company may be domestic or it may be overseas. Many of these overseas companies have poor employment practices and often use illegal copies of software. In addition, you have no protection of your data and no legal recourse when it is shared or otherwise used without your permission. Why do companies do this? Typically to save money or they don’t really have the expertise in-house. Either way it could be a bad business choice for you. When receiving a quote ask them specially where ALL of the work related to your project will be done.
EMS is one of the few large independent single source providers of 3D scanning, product development, 3D software and 3D printing solutions so we rarely have a need to outsource any work. In the rare cases that we feel outsourcing something highly specialized is better for the customer, it is always specified in our quotations and completed through partners we have worked with for years.