Reverse Engineering Save your Vintage Car?
The answer is a sold “yes!” Gone are the
days when a shortage of spare parts would see your classic car retired from the
road and then consigned in your garage!
This is a story about a
1952 Ferrari 225 with an engine that had fallen to pieces a day before the
Goodwood Revival motor racing festival. Its owner said that while the car had
just been given a fresh engine build and a check over, when he fired it up a
day before the race event, a conrod came out of the side of the engine. When
inspecting the fresh engine, Richard, the repair shop owner, found that every
nut and bolt had been left loose during the original rebuild. The motor was a total loss and the car miss the race
The main issue with historic vehicles are the Spare parts and
how to get them. It doesn’t matter how much an owner is willing to spend, they
won’t be going anywhere because finding old parts or getting them remade is
horrendously difficult. With the revolution in 3D scanning and reverse engineering a solution was finally available. 3D Scanners
massively improve accuracy and time in reverse engineering these beautiful cars
and their associated parts, making a solution possible, while, in the past, it
used to need a big group of engineers who would have relied on traditional
methods or tried to model a component that they’d seen from memory.
When deciding on a 3D scanner, Richard chose the Powerful Creaform
HandySCAN because of its scanning quality and powerful capabilities but
mostly because it comes with VX Elements lightweight scanning
software, which scans to mesh directly, as opposed to other scanners which
scan as a point cloud and then convert to a mesh. This meant he could observe
data amalgamation in real time and change things like the resolution, shutter
setting or laser intensity on the fly, which was particularly helpful when
scanning across two different materials, such as from a highly polished red
paint to rubber.
Using the HandySCAN 700 for 3D scanning, then modelling the in Geomagic
Design X, and then transferring it into a 3D CAD Design software.
Five days later, the 12 pistons went into production and they had the new parts
three weeks later! They also the CAD software to remodel two distributors on
the Ferrari, which were causing problems with the ignition system.
The parts had only ever been together on the screen in CAD file, but when they were
manufactured they fitted perfectly together straight away and the car drove
This a game changer! Half of a car being scanned in fifteen
minutes! Five years ago this was unheard of and it gives us an idea about the
potential of 3D engineering in the near future.