Case Study 3
To reverse engineer a car emblem to be used on our customer's new fleet of cars. The emblem needed to be modified from the original to fit on the cars, so completely new emblems had to be produced.
With several emblems required, the best manufacturing technique was to use moulding. This would enable our model makers to produce several identical parts. The client specified that the finish should be chrome, therefore a chrome plating had to be applied to the mouldings.
With no 3D CAD data available, the two options presented to our design engineers were to draw the emblem from scratch or to 3D scan the parts. With quite a complex shape 3D scanning would be much faster and more cost effective. Once this was finished the CAD file was imported into SolidWorks, where the necessary modifications could be added to ensure the parts fit onto the customer's cars. Our designers supplied the client with rendered images of the part for their approval before any production started, to ensure they were happy with the changes being made.
Before any mouldings could be produced, a master had to be CNC machined to enable the tool to be made. This tool was machined from ureol on one of our CNC machining centres from the modified 3D scan data, and was then used as a master to produce both halves of the mould tool for the emblem. From here the mouldings could be produced. With the emblems being fixed to the bonnets of cars they needed to withstand all kind of weather conditions. Therefore, the chrome plating had to be very hard wearing. We chose to use a plating process that actually coats the part in real chrome forming a weather tight seal to the moulding, called Nano-Crystalline Metallising.
The client was extremely pleased with the result, and has ordered more emblems as their fleet expands.