Increased Efficiency and Reduced Costs Using 3D Scanning To Produce CAD Models

The UK Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) was approached by Vortex Exhaust Technology Ltd to investigate using 3D scanning systems on automotive exhaust systems, to reverse engineer and produce CAD models without excessive manual operations. The challenge for the MTC was to investigate methods to reduce the quantity of jigs stored on site and improve performance simulation.

The MTC identified the most appropriate 3D point cloud gathering system to use in the under-vehicle environment, by comparing different low-cost metrology systems available in the market against a known capability system at the MTC. MTC also sourced a simulation software that could be adopted to improve the capability of Vortex’s reverse engineering process.

MTC identified the most appropriate processing software and presented it to Vortex for converting a point cloud into a CAD model. Vortex are now able to optimize their module position and design along the length of the exhaust by importing their CAD models into a simulation package and can now also develop their CAD technology further to reduce the amount of manual manufacturing.

The 3D point cloud gathering technology enables Vortex to scan an existing automotive exhaust and manufacture it to the correct size without a manual building process, reducing time and increasing efficiency. Through virtual modification of exhausts, Vortex have reduced the time it takes to complete a unit and have up-skilled their workforce.

“We are very satisfied with the result and look forward to working with the MTC again in the future.”
states Mike Campbell, R&D Director, Vortex Exhaust Technology.

The UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre develops and proves innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile, low risk environment, in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions and focus on delivering bespoke manufacturing system solutions for customers.

MTC operate some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world, and employ a team of highly skilled engineers, many of whom are leading experts in their field creating a high quality environment for the development and demonstration of new processes and technologies on an industrial scale.

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