McMaster University Solar Car, a club dedicated to solar-powered vehicle innovation, aimed to participate in the American Solar Car Challenge with a lightweight carbon fiber vehicle. Recognizing the importance of accurate 3D data and precise tolerances in their design process, McMaster Solar Car sought assistance from Applied Precision 3D. This case study highlights how Applied Precision’s 3D scanning services enabled McMaster Solar Car to streamline their design and reduce cost.

The Challenge

With their ambitious goal of creating a lightweight carbon fiber vehicle, the McMaster Solar Car Team faced the challenge of achieving precise tolerances and accurate part designs. To ensure optimal performance and efficiency, they needed reliable 3D data for their master assembly and part design.

Collaboration with applied precision 3d

Applied Precision 3D stepped in to support the McMaster Solar Car Team by providing high-accuracy 3D scanning services. Components such as the steering rack, wheel hub, and pedal mount were 3D scanned using advanced structured light 3D scanning technology, resulting in scan data aligned with an impressive accuracy of up to 25 microns (comparable to the thickness of a single strand of human hair).

Benefits Of 3d sCANNING 

By utilizing Applied Precisions’ 3D scanning capabilities, the McMaster Solar Car Team gained the ability to incorporate real-world part measurements into their custom designs. This eliminated the need to spend resources on test parts and saved valuable time that would have otherwise been spent on designing components from scratch. The accurate 3D scan data enabled the McMaster Solar Car Team to design their vehicle with confidence, ensuring precise fit and optimized performance.

Cost saving and efficient design 

Experimental design can be a costly and time-consuming process. However, with the assistance of Applied Precision 3D, the McMaster Solar Car Team significantly reduced their expenses by eliminating the need for expensive test parts. By leveraging 3D scanning technology, the McMaster Solar Car Team achieved efficient design iterations, accurately 3D modeling their components, and optimizing their vehicle’s overall performance.


The collaboration between Applied Precision 3D and the McMaster Solar Car Team demonstrates the significant impact of high-accuracy 3D scanning on design efficiency and cost savings. Applied Precision’s expertise in providing precise 3D scan data allowed the Team to incorporate real-world measurements into their custom designs, eliminating the need for costly test parts. By streamlining their design process, the Team was able to focus on innovation and successfully participate in the American Solar car challenge.

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