Sports car in reverse

Written by: Tim Fryer | Published:

Majenta PLM has partnered with Physical Digital, a 3D scanning and reverse engineering company, to transform the design and manufacturing processes of DAX Sports Cars.

DAX Sports Cars has been producing DAX 427 replicas for over thirty years and sold over four thousand kits to date.

Using Siemens PLM Software's CAD solutions, Solid Edge and NX, combined with the assistance of Physical Digital, the team at Majenta PLM joined forces with DAX Sports Cars to scan and reverse engineer a DAX 427.

Mark Parry, managing director, Majenta PLM commented: "This is a really exciting partnership for Majenta PLM and one that I believe will truly inspire kit car manufacturers and fanatics alike. We have provided DAX Sports Cars with a new lease of life through the use of CAD software and are reinventing the company's design and manufacturing processes. The DAX replicas are known to be the best in the industry, but need to adapt to keep ahead of the competition through innovation and the continuous introduction of new upgrades and products."

Reverse engineering enables capture of previous designs in a CAD environment. Parry continued: "It is then possible to quickly design and test virtually, reducing the need for expensive and time-consuming models. CAE is used to test for mechanical stress, air flow, and heat dissipation for optimal design, whilst CAM is used to manufacture with the latest machining and send 3D data to suppliers to manufacture. Although reverse engineering is a design manufacturing process, the relationship with reverse engineering truly pulls the real 'physical' world and 'virtual' designs together."

Majenta PLM initially visited the DAX workshop to collect a full car Bill Of Materials (BOM) and all existing 2D drawings of manufactured parts. The original 2D drawings were then redesigned using Siemens Solid Edge software to turn them into 3D CAD data. Physical Digital then scanned the major body parts.

Once scanned, the bodywork – including body, doors, bonnet, boot and coupe roof – was reverse engineered by Physical Digital design engineers into the CAD system. This allowed the team to make use of A-class surfacing technology to produce a complete and accurate solid 3D model of the car. Attention then turned to the inner workings. Again the team used the scanned data of all the parts beneath the bodywork to complete the mechanical workings.

The reverse engineered data and 2D model drawings were then assembled together to create a complete 3D model of the DAX 427 replica whilst other parts were modelled straight into the CAD software.

Simon Johns, Director of DAX Sports Cars, commented: "We're the first kit car manufacturer to adopt CAD/CAM/CAE software to assist with the design and manufacturing of our cars. We wanted to change all of the past concepts of the kit car industry and innovate, not just ourselves, but hopefully the whole industry as well. As a result, our cars will benefit from increased quality through build and fit. The software and support provided by Majenta PLM enables design, manufacturing and analysis to take place together, which in turn enables us to carry out a full analysis, create custom designs and provides our customers with the option to see their car in a virtual 3D environment prior to purchasing it – giving us a unique selling proposition in today's kit car market."

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