Gryphon Racing is a team of University of Guelph students that use applied engineering and design to build and race open-wheeled, high performance (Formula-style) race cars. Each year, the team competes against hundreds of other teams from across the world in large events hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) designed to highlight innovation and advance the education of STEM students. Applied Prevision 3D has worked closely with the University of Guelph SAE Team (Gryphon Racing) in preparation for the 2020 race season. As a result, the team has significantly advanced their design, making for a lighter and faster high-performance racing vehicle.

The Challenge: 3D Modelling Engine Components for Design, Manufacturing and Assembly

The Gryphon Racing team chose to reproduce an engine from a 2016 KTM 450 SX-F dirt bike, but there was no available CAD model of this new engine to rely upon to design the engine compartment and other components of our race car. The Gryphon Racing team brought its engine to Applied Precision 3D’s new Vaughan 3D Metrology Center, where they used advanced 3D scanning technology to turn it into a detailed and accurate 3D model for CAD reference.  In the post-processing of 3D mesh, Applied Precision ‘classically’ 3D modeled the major connecting components of the engine as smooth shapes. This made it more convenient to reference when designing critical components that attach to the engine.

The Solution: Advanced 3D Scanning and Software to Produce CAD Template

High precision 3D scanning was completed using a Zeiss structured ‘blue light’ scanner to ensure the necessary precision and using the right focal length configuration for the engine size.  This engineering-caliber optical metrology technology proved to be an excellent fit for the challenge at hand.   Gryphon Racing Team members were given an opportunity to see this advanced 3D technology in action.   The resulting high resolution 3D ‘point cloud’ was then processed into a 3D ‘polygonal mesh’ and specific 3D CAD features using Applied Precision’s specialized 3D software. The Gryphon Racing team has since used the 3D model of the engine to design many components for the new 2020 race car, including the intake and exhaust systems, pneumatic gear shifting mechanism, gas tank, the car’s frame, and more.  Using a precise 3D scanned model, vehicle components could be designed with very tight packaging – making the race car smaller and lighter to run.  For example, by knowing exactly where the front edges of the crankcase were, the gas tank and muffler could both be fitted tightly beside one another within the confines of the tube frame.  This will improve the overall weight balance, aerodynamic efficiency, and aesthetics of the new car. With an accurate 3D scan, the team can always be confident there will not be unforeseen interference when assembling components for the first time.  The level of precision and detail provided by 3D scanning the new engine could not be attained feasibly through classical modeling.  It’s been an essential part of the design process. The car would not be the same without the help and support of the Applied Precision Team and their 3D scanning technology.