Reverse Engineering & Rapid Prototyping for Classic Cars

Classic cars always fascinate us; there’s nothing cooler than driving down the lane with a vintage American muscle with windows open and letting your hair blow in breeze.

Apr 22, 2015 -- Having an old classic car in the garage is something that every car enthusiast would dream of. But classic cars have their own problems that make them difficult to maintain in their original shape and function. It is difficult to find spare parts of a 30 year old vehicle; the difficulty keeps on increasing with older and rare cars. Maintaining these classic cars is often costly, especially when there is no original manufacturer available to look after replacing the parts.

Using Reverse Engineering for Part Replacement

Fortunately, modern engineering technologies have made it possible to restore design information using the combination of traditional and reverse engineering techniques. Parts that are obsolete or out of stock can be easily reproduced by 3D scanning the part and storing the design information in CAD format. Manufacturing drawing can then be produced using the 3D scanned data to produce part again. Moreover, once the information is stored digitally, it can be reused and modified again to improve or modify existing designs. Modern scanning tools provide precise accuracy and tolerance levels to match the original part requiring replacement.

Improving Part Performance

Reverse engineering not only helps in restoring obsolete parts, but also helps in improving the design of the part and its strength and performance. Since through reverse engineering, it is possible to derive the original design intent and figure out possibilities of design parameters that affect the part performance. Having a digital model can help in performing virtual simulations such as computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis, which can help in predicting the part behavior. Through analysis results, a better design can be developed compared to the existing one.

Advantages of Digitizing Data to Restore Classics

The use of reverse engineering can bring lot of benefits for classics-

  • It helps in maintaining design information that can be useful for creating manufacturing drawings for machine shop requirements.
  • The CAD model can be updated or modified whenever required, without altering with the physical part. This helps in easily updating any design change quickly.
  • Sharing of information is easy since the design is in digital format, which can be printed as many times as required.
  • Storing of information digitally helps in preventing data loss.

  Rapid Prototyping

The idea of reverse engineering seems incomplete without its output being utilized as an input for rapid prototyping process. With the use of this advanced technology, it is possible to actually see and feel the product designed using CAD tools.

For classic car enthusiasts looking for developing customized part for their car can try printing the part in plastic and see how it looks and fits the requirement before going for a full-fledged manufacturing. Also, with advancement in additive manufacturing technology, there are several materials available today that possess good strength and durability to be implemented directly on the vehicle.

Combining both the reverse engineering and rapid prototyping technology can help in restoring classic cars to their original and in fact better shape, so that the feeling of vintage car driving remains joyful.

About Author: Gaurang Trivedi is Engineering consultant at TrueCADD. He has applied his engineering expertise across several highly complex and big scale projects, consequently managing to flawlessly deliver as per the client requirements.

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