CASE STUDIES

STEAM ENGINE 3D LASER SCAN TO 3D PRINT

15 DECEMBER / 2012

Sector: REVERSE ENGINEERING


Digital Surveys were brought in by consultancy firm Jaggerre to assist on a restoration project for the Bala Lake Railway.


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The locomotive, known as Winifred, was originally built in 1885 and used for slate transportation at the Penrhyn Slate Quarry in north Wales. Eventually the engine was acquired by an American dealer and shipped to the US where, after two years on display, she spent 40 in storage. She has now been returned to the UK under the promise of "sensitive restoration".


The scanning was carried out using a faro focus laser scanner and involved 20 close range high density scans. This information was then used to build a scale model in 3d studio max. Elements with complex geometry due to damage were meshed in Geomagic and brought into the model separately.


"I can't even begin to describe how it makes me feel," said Jaggeree's Chris Thorpe of the results. "It's so much better than we could have ever expected, and expectations were already fairly high."


As well as providing a permanent record of the locomotive, Jaggerre have used the data to 3d print replica models for hobbyist as well as 1 to 1 scale parts to assist in the restoration.


3D printing and laser scanning go hand in hand as complimentary technologies. As they advance allowing more complex parts and materials to be printed, the scope and range of areas that they can be used for in restoration and manufacturing is set to increase exponentially!