The Arrinera Hussarya is an impressive car, to say the least. Created by Polish manufacturer Arrinera Technology, the supercar is a marvelous example of how 3D printing is changing automotive production. 3D technology is changing automotive design, too, and it’s not just 3D printing that Arrinera utilized in the production of the Hussarya: the company relied heavily on 3D scanning as well, particularly during the design phase of the car’s development.
SMARTTECH, also based in Poland, manufactures optical 3D scanners that have notably been used in everything from aerospace applications to life-sized replicas of soccer stars. Their scanners proved to be instrumental in the design and redesign of the Arrinera Hussarya. During the redesign process, Arrinera’s engineers decided to speed development and reduce costs by reverse engineering the car, using a SMARTTECH 3D scanner to quickly capture data about the geometry of the parts and assess what needed altering.
In particular, a MICRON3D green 3D scanner with a 10-megapixel detector was used to scan the car’s components. According to SMARTTECH, green LED light technology allows for 30% better results than white light scanners, and the MICRON3D green’s 600 x 800 mm field of view enables results that are accurate to 0.084 mm.
“Unlike other solutions available on the market, the SMARTTECH 3D scanners are permanently calibrated with one measuring volume,” the company states. “This solution ensures that the user can set to work without needing to calibrate the device. It not only saves time but also eliminates the problem of calibration influencing the accuracy.”
3D scanning may look like a quick, simple process, but there’s a lot that goes on in those few seconds that a surface is being scanned. The MICRON3D green works by projecting patterns onto the surface of the scanned surface; those patterns deform according to the curvature of the surface. A detector in the measuring head then records the patterns that are visible to it. The images recorded by the detector are then converted to a point cloud. As an example, one part that SMARTTECH scanned was a clutch housing. The part was scanned from two sides, creating two point clouds, with each point cloud containing six individual measurements. Those individual measurements were aligned using a rotary stage integrated with the 3D scanner, and SMARTTECH3Dmeasure software was used to convert the point clouds into a triangle mesh. First, though, the measurement results had to be aligned.
“For the alignment we used the ‘three-point’ method where we selected three common points for both point clouds. Based on this the software automatically determined the results’ position to one another,” SMARTTECH states. “The goal was to obtain a point cloud completely representing the scanned object. The use of a rotary stage significantly simplified the operation of the alignment of the results because it divided it into two groups of points representing each of the sides.”
After the point clouds were aligned and any overlapping areas were removed, an STL file was created, and Arrinera used it to mill the part on a CNC machine. In another example, the left sill of the car was adapted to optimize the vehicle, and the right sill had to be created in exactly the same shape to maintain symmetry. The full geometry of the part couldn’t be obtained using conventional measuring methods, to the MICRON3D green was used again.
“The use of the MICRON3D green in the workshop is possible thanks to the housing made of carbon fiber,” says SMARTTECH. “The protection of the precious interior is provided by a F7 class filter. The durable housing guarantees not only reliability but also stability and high quality of measurements. In addition, the internal shock absorber system suppresses vibrations that may affect the accuracy of the results.”
Because the sill was larger than the 3D scanner’s field of view, positioning markers had to be used. The software found five common positioning markers between two individual measurements and then aligned them. The operator of the scanner, who had full view of the part, could then add scans of the remaining portions of the sill. Using this method allowed for the creation of a preliminarily aligned point cloud, which was then processed further in SMARTTECH3Dmeasure software. A reference CAD model was then created by Arrinera in Geomagic Design X. Arrinera then turned to OMNI3D to 3D print multiple parts, including mirror housings, intakes and more, reducing their weight.
“Designing and building the first racing car is not only an engineering but also a financial challenge,” SMARTTECH comments. “The 3D technologies provide both the savings in costs as well as the required precision during the data acquisition, prototyping and production adjustments. Arrinera, thanks to the use of 3D technologies, was able to significantly accelerate the prototyping process and reduce the time required for their production.”