Innovative 3D scanners for a competitive edge in automotive design

Automotive OEM uses Creaform’s portable 3D scanners for the flexible digitalization of clay models.

Employee using a HandySCAN 3D scanner to scan a clay model of a BMW car inside a warehouse

Automotive manufacturers and suppliers around the world have used portable 3D scanning systems for product development, vehicle design and quality assurance. Everything from individual components to complete vehicles can be measured. 3D measurement technologies, such as Creaform 3D scanners, are the solution for design and quality experts in the automotive industry who need to measure parts or complete vehicles quickly and efficiently.

The Go!SCAN SPARK 3D scanner is especially well-suited for the requirements of vehicle design and prototype development. It is easy to use and effortlessly captures 3D shapes and colours of any object with an accuracy of up to 0.050 mm.

The HandySCAN 3D is a metrology-grade 3D scanner with an accuracy of up to 0.025 mm. It is used specifically for applications in product development and quality control. The laser scanner can capture even the finest details thanks to its high resolution—even on highly reflective surfaces without matte spray.

The MetraSCAN 3D is a fast, precise and reliable optical CMM 3D scanner (accuracy of 0.025 mm) that is insensitive to vibrations in production environments, part movements and unstable environmental conditions. It was developed for both measurement labs and shop floors. It is often used for quality control and inspection workflows. It can capture 3D measurements of all types of parts regardless of size, material, surface and complexity. When coupled with the HandyPROBE handheld optical PCMM, even more comprehensive inspections can be performed.

Easy digitalization of clay models, including complete vehicles

The BMW Group has long relied on Creaform’s portable and flexible 3D measurement solutions at its design center in Munich to accelerate its digitalization processes in design. Different 3D scanners are used depending on the application.

Clay models and automotive parts, such as rims, doors and seats as well as complete vehicle interiors are measured with two Creaform 3D scanners: Go!SCAN SPARK and HandySCAN 3D. These user-friendly 3D measurement systems are portable and can be used directly where they are needed. At the BMW Group they are used as a daily tool by metrologists and modelers alike.

Digitalization of a clay model with the HandySCAN BLACKBlue scan data displayed in real time in VXelements software

Digitalization of a clay model with the HandySCAN BLACK. The scan data is displayed in real time in VXelements software.

For complete vehicle measurements, the company uses the MetraSCAN optical 3D scanner. This 3D Scan-to-CAD technology can quickly capture large areas and objects. With little use of targets/adhesive points, a complete vehicle is measured without leapfrogging (vibrations) on the vehicle. The 3D scanner can be combined with the tactile HandyPROBE to carry out extensive 3D measurements. The probe data is then further processed in Catia and Alias.

Fast alignment and clean-up of scans

In addition to digitalization, data clean-up and alignment in the software represent an important time factor in terms of efficiency and simplicity. The BMW Group’s design center relies on Creaform’s VXmodel software for this purpose. The software is easy and intuitive to use and offers exceptional reliability thanks to its many features.

CONCLUSION: Efficient 3D measurement systems drive innovation

Picture of a Go!SCAN MetraSCAN and HandySCAN on grey background

The combination of Creaform scanners and VXmodel brings the power of digitalization to the automotive design sector. Modelers and designers can quickly transfer models from the real world to the digital world. Mold designs (sketches) created on the clay model can be easily digitalized and used as needed for the convergence of design and technology. These points, coupled with simplicity of operation, reliability of the measurement results, and process repeatability, are very important to the BMW Group, as modelers who do not have classic metrology training can also successfully use the 3D scanners as a digitalization tool for their innovation processes.

Creaform – Division der AMETEK GmbH
Meisenweg 37
D – 70771 Leinfelden-Echterdingen
T.: +49 711 1856 8030

Article written by Creaform

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