Office Chair Manufacturer Installs Portable Measuring Arm in Engineering & Design Dept.

IMARC, Italian designer and manufacturer of office chair components and mechanisms, encouraged by a service provider using an Kreon Ace measuring arm with a Zephyr II Blue laser scanner, IMARC’s engineering and design department has invested in an identical system, gaining autonomy in its scanning and probing operations.

For fast product design, IMARC design engineers produce large numbers of prototypes using traditional techniques of manual modelling, but even more often relying on 3D printing. The parts designed, be it armrests, backrests, seats, legs or mechanisms, can vary greatly in their materials and dimensions. Some soft parts, like seat foams, can only be digitized accurately using contact less techniques.

The Kreon Ace 2.5 m arm with a Zephyr II Blue scanner is used by IMARC for the following applications:

  • Rapid prototyping: scanning and modelling (manually or via 3D printing) allows the designers to flit between the mock-up and the CAD model in order to achieve the desired shape.
  • Inspection of initial injected plastic parts: checking for deformations, verifying positions of holes, fit with adjacent parts and assemblies
  • Reverse engineering from old, non-CAD molds

With high acquisition speed and accuracy, the Zephyr II Blue can quickly scan any part in minute detail.

A typical application is designing ring-shaped backrests which are composed of two pieces (front and back) that must align perfectly. The back piece is known to deform during manufacture (deformations due to the open shape, identical over the entire series of injected parts), hence it is scanned after production. The CAD model of the front piece is then adjusted to the actual, scanned shape of the back piece. That way, despite deformation in the back piece, no defects are visible after assembly.

Michele Rausse, Head of Technical Department states “The Ace arm is a high-performance, versatile piece of equipment that meets all our measurement needs. Hard to see how we ever got by without it!” Tripod-mounted and compact, the measuring arm fits easily into the limited space of the engineering and design offices. It may is also moved to the metrology room from time to time.

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