Get it done fast, accurately, and efficiently. Like many engineers, the engineers at Pratt & Miller, New Hudson, MI, face the same demands. Pratt & Miller engineers take automotive programs from concept to reality. They perform first-article inspection for parts; reverse engineer models, fabricate parts, and any purchase parts that lack accurate CAD; and verify complicated bodywork, surface features, machine parts, and full interiors. Basically, they measure everything from small components to complete racecars.
While the engineers use the most up-to-date and powerful computer software and hardware; they were making measurements with hand tools. Not only is this process time consuming, it also tends to introduce inaccuracies because of individual errors. These tools also did not deliver the means to measure more complicated parts and freeform surfaces without undesirable contact. Therefore, the engineers often had to farm out measurement, and lose direct control of the data.
For them, the next logical step was a 3D scanner, and they chose a FARO ScanArm. This scanner was selected for its portability, flexibility, accuracy, compact design, and reputation.
Noted Gary Latham, a lead engineer at Pratt & Miller, “With our tight timeframes, about 30 to 40 percent of our parts are manufactured in the workshop and they need to be entered into CAD. We can do that easily now with faster data capture.”
Co-founder Gary Pratt said, “We use FARO to design, construct, and analyze ‘virtual’ components, CFD, systems, and complete cars – every facet of a project from initial conception to the finished product.”
The engineering team also uses the ScanArm in their Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analyses to fill in any missing pieces of the puzzle.
Filed Under: Automotive, Make Parts Fast, Rapid prototyping