3D Printing and Scanning for a BMW Vehicle

Making vehicle models can be quite lucrative because collectors everywhere really enjoy them. However, to make an accurate model can be very difficult. You need CAD data to do this and unless you want to spend weeks re-creating the specifications of the vehicle, you need some sort of scanning technology to make this possible. Thankfully, 3D printing and scanning greatly reduces the amount of time to make this happen. Recently, a company that makes scale models wanted to make a BMW 5-Series sedan. Instead of manually creating the CAD data, they scanned in the vehicle so they can scale it down for the model.

EMS was contacted to do this and they used their Surphaser 3D scanner to make it possible. They scanned the entire car at high resolution with just 10 scans. Each scan was about 1 GB because they were so detailed. They then used 3D scanning with the Z Corp. Z800 to capture the inside of the vehicle.

From the data captured, they’ve been able to create a 3D CAD model. They used RapidForm software to turn the raw data into a detailed model. It wasn’t just a wire frame, it was fully detailed so the modeling company could use it right away. The software makes it possible to capture both the surface and details of a model. Following the scanning and 3D printing, EMS turned over a model within two week’s time. This is still a significantly less amount of time than is typically associated with the creation of CAD models.

All of these data sets have to organized and aligned then merged together for it to create a comprehensive solution. Everything is put into the computer at a very high resolution to ensure the most detail is captured and preserved. Even though the manual collection and compilation of data is the traditional way of doing things, new technologies make it possible to shave off a considerable amount of time from the processes. The scale model company walked away quite pleased with the end result and EMS walked away with another satisfied client and another example they could point to of how 3D printing and scanning technologies are changing the world for the better.

With the right equipment and know-how, companies like EMS are changing how projects are completed and how materials are fabricated. It’s an amazing process and should be celebrated.


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