From scanning individual parts and components focused on tackling obsolescence to scanning entire vehicles to aid multi-million pound integration projects.
3D scanners are yet another use of innovation technology to speed up our response to obsolescence. We can 3D scan parts and components and quickly digitalise the files, aiding rapid design and removing the need for manual measurements and 2D drawings. The result is reduced time to component production which ensures your vehicle is back in service quicker.
It isn’t just 3D scanning individual parts and components, we can also 3D scan space envelopes to validate installation as part of a large integration project or 3D scan larger sub-systems to aid with engineering change, re-design or other technical requirements.
A 3D scanning day is a visit to a site or depot where we aim to scan as many parts with obsolescence or supply chain issues as possible. We will undertake 3D scanning of a pre-defined list of components and once scanned, we will complete an initial feasibility study of their suitability for digital manufacture; either 3D printed or otherwise.
Parts can also be sent to our site in Derby and returned to you once the digital data has been captured.
We then look to provide indicative costs for the re-engineering and future supply of each component.
The primary aim of the 3D scanning process is to capture as much information as possible on parts where drawings and spares are not currently available. This raw 3D scan data is then post processed and converted into a useable STL file format. We then use CAD to convert this STL file to a STEP file whilst adding new features and improving the design. This STEP file can then be used to manufacture the parts using a wide array of available digital manufacturing processes.
Used for detailed part scanning – Any part with complex shapes, or critical interfaces where scan accuracy is the main focus.
Vehicle measurement – For example: a bogie and wheelset was previously scanned before and after wheel turning in order to compare angles, distances and other measurements. In another project a freight wagon bulkhead with cracks was scanned. On this scan cracks could be measured, weld sizes could be determined, and the vehicle could be compared to the as built design to determine if the proposed repair was acceptable.
Used for in-situ part scanning – Can be used to scan parts which cannot be removed from the vehicle and may be in difficult to reach locations.
Vehicle Survey and Area Scanning – Used to capture large areas of vehicles where parts, or new pieces of equipment are fitted. This ensures that installations can be designed to fit first time. The portability allows hard to get to areas to be scanned, e.g. the vehicle roof
So how do we get from a 3D scan to the final part?
Once we have captured a 3D scan, that raw scan data can be used to create a mesh. From here, we can remove any part defects such as dents and scratches etc. The mesh, typically an STL file, can then be processed into a fully editable CAD model and exported a STEP file or any other file type required for manufacturing. When creating the CAD model we can make any further design changes or improvements to re-engineer the part. These output files can then be used for any of our available manufacturing processes.
Furthermore, we store the fully editable 3D model as part of our digital catalogue. This obviously means we can go back to production at any time, therefore, your obsolescence issues have long-term solutions. If you ever need to order more parts in the future, we can manufacture these time and cost effectively as the pre-required engineering work has already been completed.
Not only that, but a fully editable CAD file means that any future design tweaks can be easily applied. Also, If you have a part that we have previously re-engineered and manufactured that would also be suitable for different vehicle class with a slightly different fit, space profile or application then we can apply the necessary design changes, quickly validate with a prototype and go straight to production.
DB ESG purchased our first 3D scanner in 2018, then upgraded in 2022 with two newer scanners. The two scanners have different uses and applications and compliment each other. One or both can be used in different scenarios, depending on the level of detail required, scanning location, the time available to scan.
Our Portable Scanner allows us to take 3D scans quickly and efficiently, with a good level accuracy, when high detail isn’t required. As it has a built in interface it doesn’t need to be plugged into a separate laptop or tablet, meaning we can perform 3D scanning in many different locations. Our Detail Scanner allows us to capture more accurate and detailed scans when needed. Although this does need a separate interface (laptop or tablet), it is still able to be taken to customer sites to capture scans in situ if required.
Technical information about our 3D Scanners are in the pop-outs above.