The 1927 Ford Model A is one of the most recognized historical icons of the 20th century. The Model A was produced through 1931 and cost anywhere from $385 for a roadster to $1400 for the top-of-the-line Town Car was available in over 25 different styles.
What We Did
We traveled just north of Toronto with our 3D laser scanning field equipment. We used one of our our Creaform Go!SCAN 3D’s for the task. The Go!SCAN 3D is the world’s fastest handheld and portable 3D Laser Scanner. It produces highly accurate scan data in 3D for further post processing. It is easy to use and intuitive, which bodes well for any untrained scanner operator. When we arrived, there was minimal setup required, as we just plugged and scanned. There was no prep needed and within minutes major components were scanned into our VX Elements CAD software. VX Elements is a fully integrated 3D data acquisition software that allows the execution of the measurement technologies. The platform is comprised of 4 software modules: VXscan, VXprobe, VXtrack and VXshot.
The reverse engineering process was now fully underway.
This non-destructive method of acquiring valuable scan data is perfect for project with fragile elements and hard to-reach-spots. All components of the vintage automobile were scanned (including both interior and exterior) and captured. Within a few hours (less than six) the entire scan was completed and scan data was ready for editing. Laser scanning is also terrific for digital database collection and generation – store your files digitally, rather than physically.
Every minute and tiny detail was captured. From small bolts to aging rust, every element of this historic car was preserved. As we scanned the car, scan data was produced on our computers in real time, showing us what parts had to be scanned in more detail or if they were complete.
Once the scan data was saved, we prepped it for our 3D printers. We wanted to print in a large size, so we used our Stratasys Objet Connex500, which is capable of printing models up to 500 x 400 x 200 mm/19.7 x 15.7 x 7.9 inches (length, width, height). Our Connex 500 is capable of printing in multiple materials, so material selection was our next decision.
We are using the 1927 Model A Ford as a display piece, so we did not require multiple materials or moving parts, although both elements are capable and easily done on the powerful Connex500. We knew we were going to finish the printed car with paint, so we selected Standard Vero material. The Vero family of 3D printing materials is easy to paint over and allows for fine details to be modified.
After a quick paint, voila! The 1927 Model A Ford model looked just like the original!
What else can 3D Engineering do?
3D engineering truly has limitless possibilities. Just staying within the automotive industry, there are countless applications. We 3D printed a model, but you can 3D print working prototypes, end-use parts, models for wind tunnel testing and much more. Furthermore, in broader terms, industries that fall under the 3D engineering umbrella include: Aerospace, Animation and Entertainment, Architecture, Automotive/Transport, Consumer Electronics, Consumer Goods, Defense, Dentistry, Education, Energy, Hearing Aid, Heritage Preservation, Industrial Machinery, Jewelry, Medical Models, Medical Equipment, Natural Resources, Packaging, Product Design, Service Bureau, Sporting Goods, Manufacturing, Toys, and many more.