Top quality and striking design

Aftermarket: 3D scanning as a preliminary step in the production of prototypes and samples of accessories for custom bikes

Black 1800cc BMW R18 motorcycle

ABM Fahrzeugtechnik GmbH has been developing high-quality accessories for motorcycles of all the established brands with passion for over 30 years. Their focus is on ergonomics, modern technology and German safety standards. At ABM, unsurpassed quality meets striking design for ergonomic driving fun. Under the umbrella of ABM Fahrzeugtechnik GmbH, the WUNDERKIND custom brand develops premium accessories for custom bikes – such as motorcycles by Harley-Davidson, Triumph, Indian, Victory and others.

Rear fender conversion of a BMW R18

 A complete conversion was required for the rear of the newly launched BMW R18. Instead of the original rear fender, a narrow, tight-fitting fender, which can be mounted on the rear wheel swing arm using retaining struts, was required. The original seat was removed and replaced by a free-standing seat.

In order to attach the license plate, an adapter also had to be designed to make it possible for a license plate holder frame to be mounted on the side of the swing arm. To this end, the motorcycle was first scanned completely and then without the original parts with the Creaform HandySCAN 3D scanner. Particular attention was paid to the exact position of the attachment points on the frame and the swing arm where the parts developed by ABM would later be mounted. Thread positions (M6 –M10) and hole spacing had to be captured with the utmost precision.

Blue mesh 3D scan of motorcycle in VXScan Blue 3D CAD model of motorcycle in VXmodel

3D scan with original parts and without original parts in the data acquisition software VXelements

The scanned data could then be exported to the Solid Edge design program and used there as a basis for the design. The prefabricated fender was also scanned and placed in the assembly, concentric to the wheel. The struts and adapters could be designed directly on the model and then printed to be checked.

The position of the free-standing seat could be moved in the model and optimally aligned without the need for multiple mounting and dismounting of the individual parts. After the printed parts had been checked, production of the prototype and sample could begin immediately.

Black and red CAD model of motorcycle seat of BMW R18

Above: Scan imported into Solid Edge (red) and new rear fender including license plate holder (black)
Below: Motorcycle with scan data

Superimposed scan over 1800cc BMW R18 motorcycle

Process improvement

Before scanners were used, it often took a long time to record all the data and to measure and document components, which meant the customer’s vehicle had to stay on site for a long time. With the Creaform scanning system, data is quickly recorded and documented. Components can often be prepared and printed digitally. All that is required is to have the vehicle in-house again for assembly and testing of the printed or manufactured parts. There are no unnecessary journeys between the workshop and the design office. By and large, the development process up to the finished product is significantly shortened, which saves time and money.

Another advantage is that the archived data can be used for further developments at any time without the vehicle having to be physically present.

Before the HandySCAN 3D scanner was acquired, measurements were made manually at ABM using calipers, measuring rods and measuring tapes. The procedure was extremely lengthy and the measurement results inaccurate, so that subsequent work on the model had to be performed repeatedly and 3D printing had to be carried out several times.

With this initial yet common measurement method, the project described above could have been implemented, but it would have been very cumbersome and several time-consuming and costly printouts would have been necessary due to trial & error. In addition, customer vehicles would have had to be available for a long time to implement the development.

ABM fully appreciates the advantages of HandySCAN 3D: highly accurate and reliable measurement results, small measurement distance (helpful in tight spaces), hardly any scan spray required (there is no need for laborious removal after scanning), easy handling of the scanner and software.

Article written by Creaform

Comments about this article

Looking for 3D measurement solutions?

Creaform is renowned worldwide for its sophisticated technologies. We even received 5 Red Dot Awards.

Discover our products