The original intent for the incorporation of computer aided inspection (CAI) into my work flow was to ensure that each of the models that I produce is as close to the original specimen as possible. However, following the integration of CAI, many additional benefits quickly became apparent. One of my favorite projects thus far has been to identify the optimal real-world settings for a specific 3D printer that would provide the best results for students in an educational setting.
CAI was also used for the analysis of post-processing work flows for a constellation of landmarks, comparing their locations to different meshes of the same object generated by different scanners (in this case, comparing CT and structured light scan results). These insights are helping us to make better decisions in a study of shape, form, asymmetry, and allometry for a large mixed-method data set by identifying the post-processing work flow that introduces the lowest deviation between the various outputs.
One important result of the CAI studies indicates that the incorporation of 3D data from digital repositories is a great practice, but that users should evaluate those data before employing them in additional studies. Where possible, each specimen should be re-processed using the same protocols used in the new study.