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AIC-Automotive Intelligence Center, based in Amorebieta-Etxano, Bizkaia, is a European center for the generation of value for the automotive industry based on a concept of open innovation where companies improve their positioning through cooperation. Using a market approach, AIC offers services that improve the capacity of the automotive industry globally, integrating training, research, industrial development, and new businesses under a single structure. Its facilities are currently home to 30 organizations from nine different nationalities, and over 950 professionals.
All of their projects are part of a training program known as the Extreme Automotive Program (EAP), in which future professionals are trained by carrying out real projects in a company scenario. For AIC, it is important that they acquire skills in digitalization, quality control and component analysis.
Using 3D scanners for training
In the training program for automotive industry professionals, AIC teaches trainees how to make CAD designs of components. For this purpose, it is very important to have a measuring system that enables reverse engineering and measurement of parts.
It was essential for this system to be able to digitize individual components as well as a complete car, due to the platform vehicle in which to incorporate the new designed parts.
Creaform’s 3d measurement technologies were convincing, as they could perform accurate scans very fast, and the scanned file could be post-processed to obtain CADs of the parts. It also allowed for the production of color maps and reports of how the parts compared to the original CAD.
“In order to incorporate Creaform’s measurement solution into our projects, several professionals from the group were trained in the use and calibration of the equipment, as well as the software. In this way, we were able to carry out several projects at the same time, each working autonomously. We also gave internal training to the new people so that they can use this tool in their projects,” says Hector Martinez, Extreme Automotive Program Tutor at AIC.
Project 1: Manufacture of a windshield for
As part of the ObenCar training program, a vehicle platform was designed, and a bespoke windshield manufactured. In order to make the design, the chassis structure of the vehicle was digitized using MetraSCAN 3D. With the dimensions obtained, the CAD design was generated. The chassis structure consisted mainly of welded tubes, so it was easy to process the measurement to obtain the geometries of the tubes. Then, a structure was designed to support the windshield, consisting of additively manufactured metal parts, together with curved profiles. All of this was screwed to the tubes of the ObenCar chassis. Finally, once the windshield structure was installed, we used the measuring equipment to check the assembly deviations, with respect to accuracy, before the final installation of the windshield.
Project 2: Design and installation of a sunroof
Another project carried out on the ObenCar vehicle was the design and installation of a sunroof. To obtain the dimensions of the chassis, the chassis tubes were digitized. These results were used to measure the sunroof in order to make the structural parts used to fix the sunroof to the chassis.
Advantages of the MetraSCAN 3D
The main advantages of the MetraSCAN 3D are undoubtedly the time saved and the accuracy of the results obtained. The 3D scanner can scan an area or part required for assembly or manufacture within an accuracy of 0.025 mm; it makes measurement easy and facilitates decision-making. After such accurate, easy, and fast scanning, all that remains is to process the data in the software and choose which component of the part needs to be exported and in which format. Finally, it is also very helpful to visualize parts in CAD without having to draw them from scratch.
“It would not have been possible to carry out that many projects without the Creaform tool, as it has enabled us to obtain the necessary information together with a high level of accuracy. We are working on more component projects to add to the ObenCar vehicle. We also often reverse engineer existing parts, from which we need to obtain the CAD file. Creaform’s 3D tools will be very helpful for the design and improvement of parts. We also enjoyed working with Creaform’s staff, as they provided us with solutions when we needed their help,” says Hector Martinez.