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3D Scanning Brings Victory At World Superbike Championship

A Kawasaki racing motorcycle was scanned with a professional 3D scanner manufactured by RangeVision. The 3D model of the fairing was improved with some aerodynamic modeling algorithms with the new fairing produced using a 3D printer and the resulting part installed on the motorcycle.

The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team used the motorcycle with the composite fairing at the Pirelli Italian Round of the WorldSBK Championship in 2019 and won.

When it comes to motorcycle racing, a powerful engine is crucial. But there are other aspects that affect speed – most importantly, bike aerodynamics and weight. That’s why professional racing teams strive to improve the aerodynamics of their vehicles.

The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team was facing this problem in Round 5 of the World Superbike Championship in Italy, May 2019. The most time-effective solution was to construct an optimized fairing made of lighter material for the team motorbike. The team asked Russia-based UMATEX Rosatom for help. The company accepted the challenge and proposed its own carbon fiber to be used. The fiber was perfect for creating a more lightweight and streamlined fairing.

The Russian experts scanned the entire motorcycle to acquire the 3D model. They used a RangeVision Spectrum 3D scanner that can digitize objects ranging in size from 1 cm to 3 m with consistent accuracy and impressive 3D resolution. The 3D scanner produced by RangeVision is also small and easy to move around. It was especially important since the experts had to transport it from Russia to Italy and carry it with them. Spectrum proved its excellent capabilities by providing an exact 3D copy of the part with realistic texture.

Dmitry Suvorov, a specialist of UMATEX Rosatom, called it “truly impressive“. The 3D scanner was specially provided by RangeVision for the project.

The 3D scanning process was conducted in three steps. First of all, the motorcycle had to be covered in markers and sprayed with a specialized matting spray. A bike is a pretty large object, so it needs to be prepared for precise 3D scanning. Then the bike was digitized in full configuration – and again, without the fairing. This way the experts could obtain information about mounting points and the shape of the bike parts to ensure the new fairing would fit perfectly.

The next step involved testing the 3D model and constructing an object with required characteristics. The experts working on the project used special modeling algorithms to compute the shape that would allow the bike to reach higher speeds. The final 3D model was divided into several elements to simplify the production and installation.

Finally, it was time to produce the new part. The team turned for help to yet another Russia-based company, PICASO 3D. This company makes 3D printers and boasts truly impressive experience in everything related to 3D printing tech.

PICASO 3D printed up the molds using FormaX, a special material by the company itself. The carbon layers were put in those forms, heated thoroughly, and filled with reinforcing material. It made the overall fairing more durable.

Since a 3D scanner was used to scan the motorcycle, the final fairing turned out to fit perfectly. The design process was finished right in time. The fairing was installed on the team driver’s motorbike before the next stage of the Championship.

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