NVision Helps Purdue Auto Engineering Team Pursue Racing Dream

Purdue University’s Formula SAE team is utilizing NVision's HandHeld laser scanner to pursue its goal of taking home a first-place trophy in the annual Formula SAE Competition. The team anticipates that reverse engineering data obtained by the HandHeld scanner will allow for a strong Purdue showing at the upcoming 2013 competition.

The Formula SAE competition is an annual event sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in which teams of SAE student members from about 130 colleges and universities around the world compete to design and manufacture the best all-around small formula-style racing car. The competition’s restrictions on the vehicle frame and engine are limited, which challenges the students’ knowledge, creativity, and imagination. Their goal in the competition is to produce a prototype of a high performance car that is low in cost, easy to maintain, and reliable. Also of concern is the vehicle’s marketability, so the team members must keep in mind factors such visual aesthetics and passenger comfort when they design the cars. The end result of participation is a valuable engineering experience for students and an opportunity to be part of an engineering project requiring a team effort, which often improves students’ skills in time management and communication.

In the most recent competition, the Purdue team needed to reverse engineer some of its engine components. In order to do that, however, it first needed to create a 3D CAD model of the engine and its parts. The Purdue team obtained access to a HandHeld laser scanner from NVision, a leader for over two decades in providing the highest accuracy non-contact optical measurement systems and services for reverse engineering and inspection.

The NVision Handheld scanner is a powerful portable scanning device that is capable of capturing 3D geometry from objects of almost any size or shape. The scanner is attached to a mechanical arm that moves about the object, freeing the user to capture data rapidly with a high degree of resolution and accuracy. An optional tripod provides complete portability in the field. Intuitive software allows full model editing, polygon reduction, and data output to all standard CAD packages.
Engineers were able to quickly scan the engine and camshaft using the HandHeld scanner. The scanning process took less than one day, after which NVision converted the scan data into an STL model, which was then provided to the Purdue team and used to analyze its engine components.

With the information from NVision’s scanning now added to its knowledge base, the Purdue team intends to devote the upcoming year to building and testing a racecar that will allow it to achieve its dream of taking home a first-place trophy in the competition.

“NVision is proud to offer support and assistance to the Purdue Formula SAE team at no charge,” said Steve Kersen, NVision’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “We feel it’s important not only to invest in tomorrow’s engineers but also to help students who are passionate about their dreams.”

For more information, visit: www.nvision3d.com

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