Reverse Engineering a B747 Support BeamDER Services contracts NeoMetrix to re-engineer aircraft hardware
The Problem:DER Services, Inc is an aeronautical engineering project development and consulting company which provides FAA DER approvals and engineering services to the aviation industry on a global scale. As part a of a modification to a Boeing 747, it was discovered that a support beam was bent under load and was no longer usable. Normally the customer would order a replacement part from the manufacturer. However, in this case, the component was no longer available for purchase. Reverse engineering of the existing component was the only alternative course of action.
Traditional Method:When replacement parts are no longer available, reverse engineering is the only option. Traditional measurement tools, such as calipers, tape measures, rulers and plumb bobs, are prone to inaccuracy and are not particularly useful for measuring the complex curvature associated with aircraft structural components. Hand measurements must then be manually input into a computer in order to generate the required 3D model and 2D drawings for manufacturing
Beam Assembly Drawing
Beam to Be Scanned
NeoMetrix Solution:The NeoMetrix method of reverse engineering employs the use of 3D scanning technology for rapid and accurate data collection of complex geometry. The scanner of choice for this project was the Zeiss Comet L3D. The beam was scanned into CometPLUS software. The captured data was directly output as a triangulated mesh or STL file. This mesh was then imported into Geomagic’s Design X reverse engineering software, where it was used as the guideline for generating the new CAD model of the part. Cross-sectional sketches were developed based upon the scanned data and subsequently used to generate solid bodies through traditional modeling methods, such as extrudes, lofts & sweeps. Design X also allows for comparison of the final model back to the original scanned data to ensure accuracy to the original part while simultaneously pursuing the original design intent. The final model was exported in STEP format for import into the customer’s CAD system for final review and manufacturing.
NeoMetrix Advantage:Reverse engineering through 3D scanning ultimately produces a more accurate part than traditional methods of data collection and manual modeling. This is particularly true on aircraft components that are comprised of complex contoured surfaces that are virtually impossible to measure by hand. A more accurate model then results in a more accurate replacement part which is more likely to fit properly when installed, reducing the need for costly rework and scheduling delays.
Raw Scanned Data
Final Beam Model