Looking at Every Opportunity to Stay Ahead of the Competition

M-Sport, the mastermind behind Ford’s racing program, has already won seven FIA World Rally Championships, in addition to securing 62 victories, 264 podiums, and 272 consecutive points to this date, making them one of the sport’s most successful rally teams. The industry leader has been competing in rallying and circuit racing for over 20 years and takes great pride in these winning performances. That’s why they always look at every opportunity to stay ahead of the competition.

Purple Ford rally car with decals driving fast on snow track

These award-winning Ford rally cars are designed and engineered following strict FIA regulations, which are evaluated and verified through 3D scanning technology. Moreover, when introducing a new car design, the vehicle must be thoroughly inspected and 3D scanned by the FIA.

Following the example set by the FIA, M-Sport saw the need to introduce 3D scanning to control the body shell’s accuracy and ensure that the car met regulatory requirements. After all, winning performances often occur by pushing as close to the limit as practical while remaining compliant with regulations. 3D scanning proved to be the technology required to reach this balance. Therefore, M-Sport started looking for a system that could efficiently scan all surface geometries across the entire car. This blog details their search for the 3D scanner that would best fit their needs.

Balancing Compliance with Regulation and Tolerances

The FIA imposes various technical regulations for racing vehicles. For example, the rear wing must be contained in a specific space envelope relative to the car’s body shell. To ensure compliance with these regulations, M-Sport could either increase tolerances in their design approach using more conventional measurement methods or adopt 3D scanning technology. Indeed, with traditional measuring methods (or even with a CMM measuring arm), achieving the accuracy or adaptability required was impossible, which led M-Sport to acquire a 3D scanner.

Solution to Meet Technical Requirements

After trying a few different measuring systems, M-Sport was impressed by the Go!SCAN SPARK’s portability and scanning efficiency. When scanning a large project, such as a car body shell, the design team felt that the system’s acquisition speed and real-time data visualization outperformed the competitors, which use either photo-based technology or a mechanical arm.

 Now, M-Sport can scan a body shell – inside and underneath – without difficulty. With the Go!SCAN SPARK, which is not entirely reliant on targets for tracking position, the engineers can also use surface geometry to track position. This means that they don’t have to cover the entire car with targets.

Purple Ford rally race car with decals racing on a dirt road

Assurance that Vehicles are Compliant with FIA Regulations

Adopting 3D scanning technology into the M-Sport process has enabled the company to continue producing cars compliant with FIA regulations while maintaining the maximum technical advantage by minimizing design and manufacturing tolerances where it is advantageous. Thanks to the accuracy gained with 3D scanning, M-Sport feels more confident that their racing cars are compliant before FIA inspections.

 The Go!SCAN SPARK has proven to be a very beneficial acquisition. The design team uses it for all sorts of functions, such as measuring exhaust manifolds to check the accuracy of the final manufactured parts or even scanning a person sitting in the car and wearing a helmet to understand specific positions from a design perspective.

Purple Ford rally race car with decals taking a fast turn on a snow track

Remaining Extremely Competitive and Ahead of Competitors

Thanks to MSL’s expertise, the M-Sport team members found the whole experience of testing and selecting the most suitable 3D scanner very positive. MSL guided M-Sport in every step, providing a training program and support to suit every technical requirement that concerned the designers and engineers.

Now, M-Sport is confident that its racing cars always meet FIA regulations and are designer-built to be as competitive as possible. More importantly, they know they are passing this quality on to their customers.

Find out more about how 3D scanning has enabled M-Sport to continue producing cars that are not only compliant with FIA regulations but also built with minimal tolerances.

Article written by Creaform

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