Reverse Engineering by 3D Scanning

3D Scanner #1__  3D Scanner #2__

3D Scanning machines have been around for 10 years or so and were a niche market and cost around £30 to £40k. Today you can purchase a scanner for as little as £1500 which plugs into your laptop ! To scan – point the scanner at an object and travel 360 degrees around it. The data is created from interference in the light pattern caused by an object’s surface and is captured by one or more cameras on the scanner to a sub-micron accuracy. The data is triangulated in the software to calculate the object’s depth and surface patterns. The data file in the form of point cloud with X,Y,Z co-ordinates can be converted into a polygon file then again into an editable 3D CAD model (Osborn Design Ltd offers this service combined with reverse engineering).

The CAD model can be used for reverse engineering enabling a part/object to be manufactured or 3D printed. Once the file is in a 3D CAD format it can be modified and improved. The 3D Scan file can also be used for quality assurance purposes, and also for legacy parts that are no longer manufactured or in stock.

This technology is quite exciting and opens up all sorts of possibilities not just in engineering, but within healthcare, museums and many more.

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

Steve Jobs

“Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”

Mark Twain

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

 

Posted in 3d, 3D CAD, 3D Scanning, additive manufacturing, business, cad, design, Engineering, engineering development, humor, humour, manufacturing, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, project engineering, quotations, quotes, Reverse Engineering, technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pressure to lose weight !

Electric Sports Car Charging_#4_  Car Seat Magnesium alloy_

The physics that states ‘energy efficiency of cars is inversely proportional to kerb weight’ has led automotive manufacturers to look at lighter materials. Recent pressure to do this has come indirectly from a push to reduce emissions leading to the adoption of electric vehicle technology. The downside to electric vehicles though is their extra weight compared to similarly powered combustion vehicles, due to heavy electric motors and battery packs. In fact electric vehicles are usually 125 % heavier than their combustion powered equivalents. Resistance to adopting light weight materials has always been cost because consumers do not wish to pay the extra. Things will undoubtedly change as regulations and initiatives are introduced, such as the UK’s Industrial Smart Strategy that states OEMs have to reduce carbon emissions of their models to 95g/km in 2020 and 75g in 2025. Current level is 140g/km.

Although lighter weight materials are desirable their mechanical properties are often inferior to cheaper but heavier materials such as steel. For example magnesium is 75% lighter than steel and 33% lighter than aluminium but has low creep resistance at high temperature and therefore needs to be alloyed with a rare-earth metal to improve mechanical properties, which also adds to cost ! Developing new processing methods though could potentially overcome some of these strength issues. One process is superplastic forming which can add mechanical strength but is presently quite costly. Composites with high strength and stiffness ratios, and lightweight are credible solutions and the technology is always moving forward. They can be manufactured as one piece with a reinforced matrix material with different regions of reinforcement, for efficient design.

To conclude, pressure is on for manufacturers to reduce emissions and move to electric vehicles that perform comparably to traditional combustion engine vehicles, but weight is one of the issues and a work in progress to reduce this to increase energy efficiency and performance within commercial limits.

Hope you enjoyed the blog and that you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Winston S. Churchill

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.”

Billy Sunday

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

Posted in business, design, electric vehicle, Energy, Engineering, engineering development, environment, humor, humour, manufacturing, material science, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, Propulsion, quotations, quotes, research science, technology, transport, Uncategorized, Vehicle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3D CAD FEA – Finite Element Analysis

feaimage_ic_

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) as a ‘bolt on’ software for 3D CAD software has been around a while to aid mechanical engineering design. The software over this time has improved in leaps & bounds and it’s price has also come down over the years. (In fact IronCAD, one of the 3D CAD packages we use, has just released it’s latest FEA with even more features!)

A definition might be:

Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computerized method for predicting how a product reacts to real-world forces, vibration, heat, fluid flow, and other physical effects. Finite element analysis shows whether a product will fail, wear out, or work the way it was designed”

FEA enables design engineers to simulate environmental conditions of engineering parts or products in service, which can be static and/or dynamic, it is never a true replacement for ‘real life’ service conditions, but greatly increases the probability of design success. Once a product or part has been designed on CAD it’s true test before reaching end users or customers, would usually be under ‘real life’ test conditions as a prototype (often extreme conditions) in a laboratory, where other factors might be included as well such as corrosion.

Hope you enjoyed the blog and that you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”

Will Rogers

“A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I’m afraid of widths.”

Steven Wright

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

Posted in 3d, business, cad, COMPUTER SIMULATION, design, Engineering, engineering development, environment, failure, FEA, Heat Energy, humor, humour, Industry, manufacturing, material science, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, Physics, precision engineering, quotations, quotes, research science, Simulation, Stress Analysis, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trust me I’m an Engineer #2 !

engineering-blooper-2_

A sample of images of how we sometimes get things wrong – enjoy !

Engineering Blooper #14_

Who moved the building ?

Engineering Blooper #15_

Not very convenient !

 

engineering-blooper-3_

CCTV video footage draws a blank on recent criminal activity !

engineering-blooper-4_

I hope & pray this works !

 

Plus a link below of a video clip of  The Two Ronnies – Four Candles sketch, as a light way to end the year – enjoy !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNTM9iM1eVw

Happy & Prosperous 2019

All the best

Mike

Posted in civil engineering, Comedy Sketch, design, Engineering, Engineering Mistakes, humor, humour, mechanical, mistakes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AM – a manufacturing revolution

3D Metal Printer_#1_  3D Metal Printer_#2_

AM (Additive Manufacturing) costs are reducing and combined with it’s flexibility to manufacture quickly bespoke designs from CAD models, is slowly taking sector ground from more traditional manufacturing methods. The range of materials that can be used has increased (including various plastics & polymers and now metals) is giving rise to a range of products with custom mechanical properties and related costs. Another advantage of AM is the introduction of a material’s porosity that decreases density and therefore weight of a given product with a disproportionately low effect on mechanical properties in most cases.

The medical and dental sectors have been revolutionised by AM over the last few years allowing the production of patient specific unique geometries such as crowns, bridges or custom hip implants. Recently Adidas with their Futurecraft 4D product line use AM to produce shoes that are customised to the needs of individuals.

3D Metal Printer_#3_adidas shoes_

Chris Sutcliffe, R&D director of AM products at Renishaw, mentions that ‘AM can help in the production of families of products based on a parametric CAD file, allowing manufacturers to create a series of products of perhaps different sizes or amendments to suit their purpose’.

The future looks bright for AM with the potential of ‘multi-functionality in serial parts delivered at production rates – a real tangible benefit of AM’.

Hope you have a great month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.”

Lily Tomlin

“All generalizations are false, including this one.”

Mark Twain

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

 

Posted in 3d, 3D Printing, additive manufacturing, business, cad, design, humor, humour, manufacturing, material science, mechanical, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, precision engineering, printing, quotations, quotes, research science, technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wheel Revolution !

Reconfigurable Wheel-tracks_#2_  Reconfigurable Wheel-tracks_#3_

There has always been a design ‘trade off’ for vehicle design engineers with regard to vehicle propulsion on different terrains – need for speed, energy efficiency and low noise for the road, as against stability and traction for the off road.

Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania may have come up with a solution with a prototype design called ‘reconfigurable wheel-tracks’ (RWTs). These consist of wheels that have tracks on their circumference which can be reshaped into triangles on the move and operate as traditional off road tracks.

The advantage of course is the adaptability to different terrains within seconds, the disadvantages are potential clogging of the moving parts of which there are many, potentially high maintenance, and the complexity that could make it prohibitively expensive.

Despite this the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are very interested in this new innovation because it can be retro fitted to standard army vehicles such as the Hummer, increasing it’s the safety & versatility.

Please see video link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8QtJeNHrNQ

Hope you have a great month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.”

Fred Allen

“If a book about failures doesn’t sell, is it a success?”

Jerry Seinfeld

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

Posted in design, Engineering, engineering development, humor, humour, manufacturing, mechanical, Military, Propulsion, quotations, quotes, research science, technology, Traction, travel, Uncategorized, Vehicle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infrared Rectenna – waste heat recovery

 

Heat Rectenna_

Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories have developed a tiny silicon-based device that can harness what was previously called waste heat and turn it into DC power. It is a solid-state device with no moving parts to jam, bend or break, and doesn’t have to directly touch the heat source, which can cause thermal stress. It is also the size of a small finger nail !

Paul Davids, a physicist and the principal investigator for the study says, “We have developed a new method for essentially recovering energy from waste heat. Car engines produce a lot of heat and that heat is just waste, right? So imagine if you could convert that engine heat into electrical power for a hybrid car. This is the first step in that direction, but much more work needs to be done.”

What a useful invention that could recoup heat losses from engines and any other devices. This could have many applications, including millions of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines throughout the world, saving power and therefore lowering emissions !

For more info: http://revolution-green.com/infrared-rectenna-generating-electrical-power-waste-heat/

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“My dog used to chase people on a bike a lot. It got so bad, finally I had to take his bike away”

– Annonymous

“Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”

– Mark Twain

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

 

Posted in business, Car, design, electrical engineering, Electronics, Energy, engine, Engineering, environment, Heat Energy, Heat Recovery, humor, humour, manufacturing, renewable energy, technology, transport, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment