3D scanners are transforming the automotive industry

In June, BMW Group announced plans to use 3D laser scanning technology to perform digital scans of its assembly plants by early 2023. The scanning will help create more efficient floor plans for the production facilities of the car manufacturer of the future.

“This opens up entirely new possibilities for us to implement both extensive new planning and smaller-scale refurbishment of existing structures in a very efficient, precise and flexible manner,” said Michele Melchiorre, Production System Manager, planning, tool shop and BMW Group. factory building.

Ford Motor Co. turned to 3D scanning technology in its restoration of Michigan’s historic Central Station, which the automaker plans to make the centerpiece of a “mobility innovation district” in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit.

In 2020, Ford said it was using laser scanners to develop “3D models of various station elements” that no longer exist, helping artisans recreate or repair things like “large cast-iron windows ornate, decorative trim and an elaborate tiled ceiling.”

As automotive use cases for 3D scanning grow, so do the capabilities of the technology.

“If you want to make a special part for a car, it’s very easy to use the scanner to create the exact shape you need,” said Andrei Vakulenko, business development manager of 3D scanner maker Artec 3D. laptops in Luxembourg. .

This comes in handy for low volume projects or one-time needs.

A car designer in Australia is deploying Artec 3D scanners to restore vintage vehicles. Using Artec Leo, the company’s most advanced scanner, the designer creates exact copies of automotive parts instead of measuring them by hand, improving accuracy and increasing productivity.

“It’s absolutely a new generation for the product,” Vakulenko said.

While parts for decades-old vehicles can be hard to find, repair shops can use a detailed 3D scanner to recreate components and get a discontinued model back into service.

Other uses include creating part models for the design process. Some automakers use 3D scanners to check the quality of parts of various sizes, including car seats, Vakulenko said.

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