It’s no secret that 3D scanning has become increasingly useful these past few years, especially when it comes to reverse engineering auto parts. Considering the complexity of modern vehicles, it’s extremely challenging to reverse engineer new components that will fit precisely in the existing structure. However, with the impressive technology available through 3D scanners, our team was able to reverse engineer an entire exhaust system on a Volvo XC90 in under an hour. In this blog, we will explain how our team was able to complete this task. To learn more about 3D scanning technology and its endless uses, get in touch with us today!

Why Engineers Are Using 3D Scanning For CAD Models

Auto parts can be very difficult to track down, especially those that are for an older model whose parts are no longer being sold commercially. This is one of the main reasons why design engineers are turning toward reverse engineering. Not only do 3D scanners offer extremely accurate results, but they also are able to provide design engineers exactly what they need to reverse engineer a vehicle at a fraction of the cost and time it would take other methods to do the same. Now, let’s jump into the process of how our team reverse engineered the exhaust system of a Volvo XC90 using 3D scanning technology.

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How The 3D Scanning Process Works

Our team at Reality 3D started this process by using a professional handheld scanner, the Artec Leo, to digitally scan the underside of the Volvo XC90. Any guesses on how long this step took? Believe it or not, scanning the undercarriage of vehicle took our team just about ten minutes to complete. This particular 3D scanner has a built-in touch screen that was extremely useful to our team when we were working to ensure we captured every single part of the undercarriage.

Once we completed the scanning of the underside of the Volvo XC90, we generated the scan in the Artec Studio, a post-processing software. While the data we retrieved from the scan was very complex, it only took about 15 minutes to upload into the post-scanning software. From there, we were able to align the scan sets into a global coordinate system. At this time, we were also able to remove any unwanted data that was captured from our initial scan, ensuring we only have the parts in the software that we need. After we refined the portion of the scan for our CAD (computer-aided design) purposes, it was time to apply Sharp Fusion.

Sharp Fusion creates a single mesh from all of the scans, which is then followed by Mesh Simplification. When Mesh Simplification is applied, it helps to reduce the size of the mesh in order to make the model easier to work with. After this stage, our 3D model was ready to be exported to Geomagic Design X, an engineering software that allowed our team to produce an editable solid model with our existing CAD software.

At this point, our Reality 3D team was ready to create a new, high-performance exhaust system step-by-step, including the shape, size, and other crucial aspects. In just 30 minutes, we were able to create a reverse engineered exhaust system that matched the existing car’s components seamlessly. To give you a quick recap, we were able to successfully reverse engineer a Volvo XC90 exhaust system in under one hour. Here’s a breakdown of the time it took for each step of our process:

  • Scanning with Artec Leo: 10 Minutes
  • Post-Processing in Artec Studio: 15 Minutes
  • CAD Work in Design X: 30 Minutes

Discover The Power of 3D Scanning with Reality 3D

The use of 3D scanning is becoming increasingly popular. Not only does it provide extremely precise measurements and results, but it also allows you to create incredible products at the fraction of the cost and time that it would take you to do the same with traditional methods. From eCommerce, orthopedics, and military defense uses to video game design, automotive products, and much more, 3D scanning is the future of creating nearly any object you can think of. Learn more about the uses of 3D scanning by visiting our website today!

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