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Fleets of Aging Aircraft Create Demand for 3D Scanning
Many aircraft flying today were designed on drafting boards, and have no 3D data available. The design of add-on modules and airframe modifications necessitates the development of "AS-BUILT" CAD models through 3D scanning.
Until the mid 1990’s, most aircraft were designed using only 2D CAD. Before that, manual drawings were used. In fact, only specific cross-sections were clearly defined, and aircraft skins were “lofted” between them. So, much of the surface of older aircraft has no engineering definition at all. Most of these aircraft are still flying today, and require modifications and upgrades.
This need has created a demand for high-accuracy, long range scanning products and services. Systems such as the Surphaser® 25HSX from Basis Software, Inc., can scan large areas with an accuracy suitable for reverse engineering. Since no CAD data exist for many of the aircraft flying today, 3D scanning can be used to accurately map individual components or the entire aircraft. The raw scanned data can then be processed with specialized software like Rapidform XOR in order to generate the required CAD data.
Once the “As-Built”
According to Dan Perreault, President of NeoMetrix Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of 3D scanning services, “3D scanning facilitates the accurate mapping of very complex shapes and surfaces to help improve the design of aircraft modifications. Starting with an accurate surface means parts fit the first time, and virtually eliminate wasteful re-work.”
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NeoMetrix Technologies, Inc. (www.3dscanningservices.net)
In addition to representing Objet, NeoMetrix is also a top reseller for Konica-Minolta Sensing America, and Rapidform Software.
NeoMetrix also offers engineering consulting and technical services that focus on assisting clients with improving product quality and reducing design cycles.