You might think that working with 3D scanners is easy and intuitive. That depends on the application. For a Naval Air Station (NAS), custom on-site training was critical to improving its reverse engineering process.
Engineers and machinists at the base regularly need to reverse engineer complex replacement parts for naval aircraft to keep the planes and helicopters in peak flying condition. NAS purchased a 3D laser scanner for reverse engineering from another vendor a few years ago, but the vendor’s lack of a thorough training program limited the ability of Navy personnel to reverse engineer parts in military aircraft. Sadly, the original training was on parts completely unrelated to those used at an NAS facility and with software not suitable for the station’s needs.
After experiencing significant frustration and sub-standard scanning results, the NAS contacted NVision, a company that regularly works with every branch of the U.S. military and specializes in providing laser scanners as well as custom, on-site training in their use for reverse engineering. An NVision engineer traveled to the base and spent four days extensively training its personnel on site in the use of laser scanning equipment and software. “The on-site training with actual parts is one of the reasons why NVision’s work with the military continues to grow,” said Colin Ellis, engineering manager at NVision.
The NVision engineer initially had some difficulty using the base’s scanning equipment due to its inherent limitations. These issues included a small laser strip width, tiny stand-off distance, and limited depth of field. Thankfully he was he able to resolve all of the NAS’s issues and concerns by providing the facility with two new high-speed portable workstation computers and extensive training on Rapidform XOR software using the station’s own parts and real-world scenarios.
Noted Ellis, “The base now plans to replace their current rudimentary and slow scanner with an NVision high-accuracy and wide-stripe scanner in order to speed up their reverse engineering process even more.”