Performance, Race

BBi R&D: 3D Scanning and Reverse Engineering with Creaform and 3D INFOTECH

Garbage in, garbage out as they say. Reverse engineering is part of every day development at BBi Autosport when creating new performance upgrades or bespoke components. Speed, accuracy and simplicity is key when it comes to gathering data as this helps shorten the development cycle and increase quality. We seek to have OEM like fit and finish with best possible performance possible within every part. For a lot of our development we are using laser scanners to collect data - which allow us to create 3D snapshots of cars and components. This way we do not need to keep referencing the vehicle.

Chris from 3D INFOTECH brought over the latest offering from Creaform - the HandySCAN Black. This is a simple hand-held scanner featuring blue laser technology which performs great on dark and reflective surfaces. The way these scanners collect data is by shining laser beam flashes onto surfaces and using special cameras to capture how the lasers bounce back. Small reflective dots allow the scanner software to create a coordinate system and align all the snapshots together - creating a larger 3D picture. The speed of capture, accuracy has been greatly improved with the HandySCAN Black as it was very impressive how fast it soaked up all the details. What is also very useful is that the objects that are being scanned do not need to be stationary. The 991.2 Carrera T exhaust that we were scanning could be picked up, rotated and moved (as long as the dots are still on) which allowed for much easier and quicker capture.

How that data is handled is just as important as the scanner hardware. Creaform has a great software package that reviews all scanned points, consolidates and optimizes the points and forms a clean, easy to manage file to be used in parametric modelling software.

These scanners allow us to reduce R&D time and reduce dependency on having the vehicle physically in-house for the duration of the development. The 3D snapshots of the parts and car allow us to work within a 3D environment, creating components that would perfectly mesh with the factory parts as needed.

We will update more as we keep developing the Porsche Carrera exhaust system, how we use the data and how our concepts come to life.