3D Scanning

A roller-coaster weekend for WSR at Donington Park

Colin Turkington & Tom Oliphant, Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport, BTCC, Donington Park, UK

Double win for Team BMW’s new 330i M Sport at Donington Park

Team BMW and Colin Turkington claimed a sensational Donington Park double win to soar to the head of the British Touring Car Teams’ Championship with the new 330i M Sport. Colin’s pair of victories for the WSR-run team made him the top scorer of the weekend and moved him up to third in the Drivers’ standings; just five points off the top spot.

And there was more success for Team BMW as Tom Oliphant scored his first BTCC podium finish with third in Race One and both drivers finished all three races for the second meeting in a row. Having qualified on pole position, Colin got his race weekend off to a perfect start with a lights-to-flag victory in Race One. He made a clean getaway and, after twice pulling away from the field (only for a Safety Car to close the gap), the Northern Irishman stretched his lead to win by 2.254 seconds.

An almost identical second race, including two Safety-Car periods, resulted in another victory – one more than me managed across the whole of his 2018 title-winning season!

It was far from easy, as he had to manage the 54kg success ballast that had been added to the car – and which he would also carry in the third and final race.

Starting 10th for the finale; and enabling the team to run the new car on maximum success ballast and on the hard slick-tyre compound for the first time – it proved successful, with ninth place the result. Team-mate Tom made a magnificent start in the opening race to move up three spots to sixth; cementing the overtaking with a brave manoeuvre around the outside of Redgate corner.  Enjoying a return to rear-wheel drive racing, the Leamington Spa racer moved into third by mid-race distance and, having opened up a nice gap to fourth, consolidated his position to score his first BTCC podium.

Tom made another magnificent start in Race Two, momentarily moving up to second before becoming embroiled in a close battle for a podium position. Carrying 42kg success ballast, he slipped to sixth and looked set for another very strong result, before an ambitious overtaking move from behind spun his BMW 330i M Sport at Redgate corner on the penultimate lap.

He resumed in 17th; a great shame after showing such a good race pace and compromising his race three ambitions. Tom also used the hard compound slick in Race Three which, apart from the Thruxton test, was the first time he had driven on it. Starting 15th, he did extremely well to finish a trouble-free 13th.

Colin Turkington said: “It’s been an excellent weekend. What pleases me most is to score well in all three race; it’s no good having two wins and a DNF, you have to put good points in the bag three times. Ninth in race three, with full success ballast and the hard tyre, is an excellent result and we’ve also learnt a lot from race three.”

Tom Oliphant said: “I was very pleased with my Race One podium finish, it was a dream start, but the rest of the day didn’t really go to plan. Overall, it’s been a weekend of missed opportunities, having been spun around in the second race, but on the flip side I’ve scored my first BTCC podium. It’s almost silly feeling disappointed given our race pace today, and I’m leaving Donington confident that there are many more podiums to come in the new 330i M Sport”.

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “We’re still learning with the new BMW 330i M Sport and it certainly has a great deal of potential. It’s reliable too, as Colin and Tom have finished every race so far this season. This weekend we ran the car without weight, then with maximum success ballast and then with weight on the hard tyre in a race for the very first time, and whilst we still have a lot to learn everything appears very positive going forward. To have a brand new car and to finish so well in the points in each race, and to be leading the Teams’ Championship at such an early stage of the season, is very encouraging.”

Jordan bruised but thankful for strength of BMW after Donington BTCC race incident

BMW Pirtek Racing driver Andrew Jordan missed out on a chance to score more British Touring Car Championship points after a crash in the opening race at Donington Park on Sunday damaged his BMW 330i M Sport and saw the 2013 champion taken to hospital for a precautionary medical check.

The 29-year-old Lichfield driver, who had given the brand-new BMW 330i M Sport its first race victory at Brands Hatch, had made a good start to the race.

But his race weekend came to a dramatic end on the opening lap at the Old Hairpin when he was hit from behind and spun sideways in the middle of the 30-car field.

Unfortunately the WSR-run BMW sustained a second sizeable impact when another car then hit him hard in the driver’s door, which started a multi-car collision.

Andrew exited his race car and walked to the attending medical vehicle, but was in some discomfort from the hefty side impact. He was taken to hospital for a precautionary check, where it was found he had bruised the cartilage on his torso.

This, together with the damaged sustained to the car, meant that he was forced to miss Races Two and Three – although he did return to watch the third and final race from the BMW Pirtek Racing pit garage.

Andrew Jordan said: “I had a cracking start, but when you’re in the midfield you can find yourself in amongst the idiots. I gave Rob [Collard] racing room; more than a car’s width, but he harpooned me in the rear and turned me around at the Old Hairpin. I was parked across the track and received a second really big hit in the door by Adam Morgan, although that wasn’t his fault. The safety cage has done everything it’s been designed to do, and full credit to WSR and BMW for building such a very strong car. It’s just a very unfortunate and frustrating incident, because we should have had a very strong day today.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “AJ has a few aches and pains, which is not surprising after a hard shunt like that, but it’s good to see that he has incurred nothing worse. We’ve built the new BMW 330i M Sport to 2020 FIA regulations, which we decided to do when the regulations were published earlier this year, and that might well have helped with this heavy impact. He’s a tough lad and we’ll get the car repaired and ready for him to bounce back next time out at Thruxton.”

Physical Digital are proud Technical Partners of WSR, supporting them with their 3D Scanning, reverse engineering and quality inspection requirements.

The next BTCC race weekend takes place at Thruxton on Sunday 19 May.

Photo credit JEP/BMW.

Jordan takes maiden BTCC win for BMW 330i M Sport

Logos BMW 330i M sport

Andrew Jordan took a brilliant first victory for the brand-new BMW 330i M Sport at Brands Hatch at the opening British Touring Car Championship weekend of 2019.

The BMW Pirtek Racing driver charged through from 15th on the grid in Race Two to deliver a masterful performance in a car that ran beautifully once the 1.2-mile Indy circuit dried out from early rain.

Treacherous track conditions had blighted the first race and the WSR-run team opted to start on Dunlop wet tyres, but once the race got underway, those further down the grid who had gambled on slicks proved quicker.

Despite running second in the early stages, from third on the grid, the 2013 champion faded to 15th by the flag.

Determined to fight back in Race Two, and equipped with the superior-on-the-day control tyre, Andrew rocketed off the line and by the end of lap one had passed seven cars.

He then dispatched rival after rival in a scintillating display that culminated in him moving into the lead on the outside of the pit straight with eight laps to run. Fastest lap and a dominant win were just reward for a superb drive.

With 54kg of success ballast and the option tyres underneath him, Andrew was never likely to repeat that performance from 11th on Race Three’s partially-reversed grid, but still he fought gamely in the top 10 before contact forced him to pit.

Andrew Jordan said: “This has been an amazing weekend for us and the new BMW 330i M Sport. To get the first win for the new 3 Series on its debut weekend means everything to me. An hour into the first day we tested it, I was ready to race it. The car felt very good all weekend. I was a little bit cautious in the damp because we used to struggle with that with old car, but it felt very good. In Race Two, I was conscious of protecting the control tyres, especially since all the people around me were on softer tyres. But the option tyre turned out to be less competitive and after that it was a case of picking them off one by one. When it came to Ash Sutton in the lead, I knew he would be a tough cookie so I had to try and be patient. But his tyres were deteriorating, and my car felt very strong. So I tried to be on him coming off Clearways and with his tyres getting worse my advantage was greater. Last year felt winless for me [in spite of an inherited victory at Knockhill], so to get this victory in such commanding style is great. I did the easy bit though, the team have done an astonishing job with this car.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “That is mission accomplished for us. AJ has looked strong all weekend and in Race Two, when he was on the control tyre, the car was just mega. We’ve won quite a bit at Brands Hatch with the old car, but I think while we are still tapping into the new BMW’s potential, we couldn’t have hoped to do so well so quickly. We are still learning what it likes, what it doesn’t like and have to do a stock take after this weekend. But now I am very encouraged. We knew we were good yesterday, and we just made a wrong tyre call in Race One, but the rest of the weekend has shown us we that have a strong year ahead of us.”

Team BMW’s new 330i M Sport shines on BTCC debut

Team BMW came away from the opening weekend of their triple British Touring Car Championship title defence hugely encouraged by the performance of the new BMW 330i M Sport at Brands Hatch.

Not only did the WSR-run car win in the hands of BMW Pirtek Racing driver Andrew Jordan, stable-mate and reigning champion Colin Turkington was able to deliver his own blistering performance, setting fastest lap and recording a top-five finish in the final race of the day.

Turkington and his impressive new team-mate Tom Oliphant were not able to capitalise on strong qualifying performances for Race One, when difficult conditions left them no choice but to opt to start on wet tyres.

This compromised their race pace as drivers lower down the grid who had gambled on slicks gained an advantage on the drying track.

Starting in the midfield in Race Two, Colin and Tom worked their way back up to 14th and 15th on the less competitive Dunlop option tyre, setting the stage for a grandstand finish,  which they duly delivered.

In an eventful final race of the day Colin, now on the control tyre and without ballast, charged through, passing nine cars on his way to fifth and fastest lap. While Tom impressively tracked him throughout to record his career-best BTCC finish in sixth.

Colin Turkington said: “Fastest lap and fifth place in the final race of the day was pleasing and it was good to pick up some really useful points. We’re still learning about the brand new 3 Series and I think it is just going to take a bit more time to tailor it to my style. That will come with time and once we unlock that potential, we will fly. I know that we have to dig quite deep in terms of analysis but there are another 27 races to go and we just have to find the right set-up, and no doubt this team will. It’s a strong start and a fantastic effort by the whole team.”

Tom Oliphant said: “We knew we had a quick car, and when we finally got to race in one constant track condition in Race Three, we were able to show that. I got a good start, went around a few cars and I was right behind Colin and I just said to myself ‘I am just going to follow him’. I knew he would make the moves. We had the same car, same tyres and same set-up so every move he went for, I just pushed through. I’m really, really pleased. The car felt great, exactly the way it had in testing and it’s brilliant that we managed to end the day on a high and score some big points for Team BMW. Between us and AJ we showed what the car can do. The guys have done an extraordinary job with this car and I can’t wait to race it again.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “We can be very satisfied with this weekend. Colin finished fifth in Race Three and looked very strong, and had we started higher up, we probably would have been in the running for a podium. We will have to work a little bit with Colin to get the car to suit his driving style, but it will come. I’m also very impressed with Tom, who recorded his best result in the BTCC this weekend. At no point did he look any different to the other two, who are both champions, and was right on Colin’s tail in Race Three. Overall this has been a very good weekend and considering how many hours everyone has put in to get these three BMW 330i M Sports ready for this weekend, the results are a tremendous testament to the team’s hard work. All three cars finished all three races, which is excellent reliability. To have a win [through BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan] with the brand-new car, complete with two fastest laps, shows we have a lot to look forward to.”

Working together since 2017

Physical Digital were delighted to attend the first weekend of this years British Touring Car Championship as sponsors of WSR. Physical Digital proudly provide 3D scanning and reverse engineering services to WSR as their approved Technical Partners. Working together since 2017, Dick Bennetts (WSR Team Principal) recently commented:

“ Physical Digital have been a great asset to WSR in the early stages of the design of our new BMW 3 Series BTCC race cars. Without their assistance with the 3D scanning of various parts, it would have taken our design guys a lot longer to achieve.

Tim and all the guys  have always been on hand ready to assist when needed. Greatly appreciated”

Photo credit JEP/BMW.

Discussing the workforce of the future at The House of Commons

Tim Rapley and Zak Rapley attend T Level and Apprenticeships event

As the owner of an influential SME within the South-East region, our MD Tim Rapley was invited to attend an event held at The House of Commons earlier this week, hosted by the EFSA to discuss T Level and Apprenticeships within the South East region. The event was held in conjunction with the Federation of Small Businesses and the South East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network at the Terrace Pavilion at the House of Commons.

Invited by MP Apprenticeship Ambassador Gillian Keegan (Con, Chichester), the purpose was to hear from a wide spectrum of the South East SME business community about topics such as apprenticeship engagement, as well as feedback on the plans for the new T Levels. The event was also to understand the ability of SMEs offering meaningful and structured industry placements as part of the Technical Level offer for 16-18 year olds from September 2020 in Construction, Education & Childcare, and Digital routes.

Talks were held by Mike Cherry, the FSB National Chair, and Gillian to discuss how employers can gain a competitive advantage by connecting in greater numbers with apprenticeships; and how T Levels can enable young people to gain the transferable skills and experience that they need to progress in their careers.

Tim Rapley commented: “Having sat on the panel for the NPL Apprentices Metrology Trailblazer and as an influential business owner within the metrology industry,  we are eager to support future generations of engineers. As part of this education Physical Digital pay visits to schools, UTC’s, colleges and universities providing an overview and giving demonstrations of our industry leading 3D scanning technology.”

“The event was well attended by business representatives and education providers from the South East, along with Apprentice Ambassadors and representatives from the Department for Education & Skills. We had an over view from Gillian on what the government is doing pre and post launch of this program. Talks were also given by Mike Cherry supporting the SME, plus presentations on number on a case studies for apprentices of all ages and academic backgrounds.”

“I was introduced to Gillian and to several people on her team who were overseeing the roll out and implementation of this program and they were very interested to understand more from our experience as a SME. My son Zak Rapley, who is currently undertaking an apprenticeship scheme with Mondelez (Cadbury), also attended and provided an overview of his experience of  the apprenticeship system so far. It was a pleasure to be invited and kept up-to-date with the latest developments of this program and we look forward to supporting apprentices in the future.”

New BMW 3 Series revealed ahead of BTCC debut

WSR & Team BMW 3 Series Livery

WSR are very proud to present the brand-new BMW 330i M Sports that will represent Team BMW and BMW Pirtek Racing in the 2019 British Touring Car Championship.

Returning to the BTCC for the first time since 2012, and built by the reigning champion team, the 3 Series is the car with which WSR claimed the first of their 10 titles and is acknowledged as the most successful touring car of all time.

Colin Turkington, who aims to equal the all-time record of four BTCC titles, and new recruit Tom Oliphant, race for Team BMW while 2013 champion Andrew Jordan drives for BMW Pirtek Racing.

Each livery, which encompasses the flowing lines of the iconic BMW M Motorsport stripes, has been created by the renowned Nick Moss Design.

Both Team BMW and BMW Pirtek Racing will shake down their brand-new cars publicly at Brands Hatch today (Tuesday) ahead of the official BTCC season launch on March 27.

The BTCC begins – also at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit – on April 6-7.

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “It’s a great moment to see the incredible amount of hard work and long hours that everybody at WSR and our technical partners have put in, come to fruition as we present our new BMW 330i M Sports. They look like proper touring cars should on the surface, Nick Moss Design has done a fantastic job on the liveries, and under the skin we have a package that we believe can help us add to our 10 BTCC titles. We know we’ll be short on test mileage compared to most of the other teams come the start of the season, but that just means we’ll have to push ourselves even harder to make sure we’re in a strong situation as soon as possible.”


Image information
Main: Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport with drivers (L-R) Tom Oliphant, Colin Turkintgon and Andrew Jordan. Below main text 1: BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 330i M Sport with Andrew Jordan; 2 Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport; 3 Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport; 4 BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 330i M Sport.

Photo credit Jakob Ebrey/BMW.

Physical Digital® make FSB South East Awards finals!

FSB South East Awards Finalists

Physical Digital celebrate as they make it to the shortlists for the FSB South East Awards for Business and product innovation.

The FSB Awards recognise the best small business right across the UK, from every sector and industry. The category Physical Digital have entered is varied, with many businesses offering unique specialisms making them stand out in their field of expertise. We were recently advised that we have been lucky enough to be selected as finalists for this award, alongside some fantastic other regional businesses, all striving to develop their companies through innovation.

Physical Digital is the UK’s leading supplier of optical measurement using 3D Structured Light (3DSL). We specialise in delivering 3D scanning services to industry, working more specifically within the Aerospace, Power Generation and Automotive industries. Because of the nature of these industries, they command the highest level of accuracy, repeatability and traceability.

Our 3D scanning services capture surface data from a physical object, producing a highly-accurate digital representation. The captured data can then be used for inspection and performance analysis or passed onto our in-house design team for full reverse engineering, which is ideal for legacy product remanufacture.

Our expert team offer the UK’s highest resolution and highest accuracy 3D measurement services to capture the detailed surface data of an object, using the industry leading non-contact optical metrology systems, Physical Digital offer both in-house and on-site, mobile measurement services, providing a flexibility of service to our customers and ensuring that 3D scanning is completed in a timely manner, with the least amount of downtime for operational products as possible.

Over the past 18 months, we have been working towards an industry-respected accreditation for Aerospace called NADCAP, which will provide recognition for our services of the highest-calibre and set us apart from other service providers within the UK. We have recently received NADCAP certification for our Quality Management System and are currently undergoing thorough technical audits for Measurement and Inspection and 3D Structured Light. Once completed, we will be the first business in the world offering 3DSL services accredited to this specific NADCAP standard. To prepare us for this process, our business has undergone some changes including the introduction of a specialist environmentally controlled measurement cell. This managed environment controls lighting and temperature which is fundamental for dimensional metrology. We maintain the standard reference temperature of 20° according to the International standard. This constant temperature reduces the thermal expansion of materials, ensuring the highest level of accuracy is achieved.

To find out more about our measurement services, see the dedicated service pages on our website:

3D Scanning

Automated measurement

Quality Inspection

Reverse Engineering



Looking forward to the final!

We are very much looking forward to the FSB South East Awards final, which is being held at on the 12th April 2019. Take a look at the companies who join us as finalists within the Business and Product Innovation category:

Snowy’s canine therapy centre Ltd

Inner-vision Technology Ltd

J Randalls

Crumbs Brewing

Spring has sprung at Physical Digital

Daffodil 3D scanning phase-shifting fringe pattern

Here at Physical Digital® we thought we would celebrate the start of Spring by capturing the beauty of the daffodil by 3D scanning one. 3D scanning a flower is not usually a request we would receive so we thought it would be fun to use our high-resolution and high-accuracy GOM optical measurement equipment to capture the delicate nature of a daffodil and the results are simply stunning!

3D scanning a flower

We started the process by creating a fixture on which to place the Daffodil for 3D scanning within our automated measurement cell, the GOM ATOS ScanBox. The fixture increases process stability for measurement and allows for repeatable scans in a fixed position within the scan volume, while also allowing the maximum optical access across the whole surface of the flower.

The volume used to complete the 3D scan was 170 measurement volume which is the highest resolution and suitable for the size of the Daffodil. Measurement volumes can be adjusted to suit the required detail and resolution needed for size of the object being captured, and the level of accuracy required for the project.

Using 3D Structured Light (3DSL), our non-contact optical scanner projects a phase-shifting fringe pattern onto the object in order to capture the full-surface data. Once complete, a polygon mesh is produced by the specialist inbuilt software. This high-resolution polygon mesh can be exported as an .STL file which can be used for further inspection and analysis. The data can also be used to 3D print the object or it can be passed onto our in-house design team for full reverse engineering for remanufacture, ideally suited to legacy products where the CAD model is not available for reproduction.

The data captured for this example perfectly showcases the intricate detail that our industry-leading non-contact optical measurement systems can capture.

As you can see from the images, the veins on the delicate petals on the Daffodil are clearly visible. The non-contact aspect of our GOM metrology systems allow us to capture precious surface information without jeopardising the integrity of the object. This has proved particularly useful for historical artefacts and is why we are the preferred supplier of 3D scanning and inspection for major Aerospace OEM’s, where the freeform shapes are inherently difficult to capture but required where component integrity is critical.

For more information on how Physical Digital’s non-contact, high-accuracy 3D scanning and reverse engineering services can support your project, contact us today for more information or take a look at our website for more information on our services:

What is Laser Scanning?

Laser Scanning - 3D optical scanning phase shifting fringe pattern

What is Laser scanning?

Laser stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. 3D laser scanning uses a laser beam to scan parts. There are various types of laser scanners, but the most commonly used are: handheld, where the beam sweeps over the part and tripod mounted, where the laser line sweeps across an area or measures a single point. The scanners can also be attached to an arm or traditional CMM gantry, however this sometimes limits scanning to a finite size, which can increase the risk of human error and introduce a level of uncertainty to the measurement.

3D Structured Light (3DSL) scanning

3D scanning using structured light is a fast, highly-accurate and non-destructive method of capturing the physical form of an object digitally. Much like laser scanning, the digital data captured via 3DSL scanning can then be used in product design, visualisation and inspection to assist design engineers with quality assurance, design modifications and improvements.

Rather than using a laser beam, 3DSL optical scanning uses two high resolution digital cameras in order to capture the data. A digital projector and Light Emitting Diode (LED) project a fringe pattern across the surface of the object using a narrow wavelength of blue light. By using the two digital cameras and applying the principles of triangulation, the sensor measures to a very high level of accuracy. This creates a high-density point cloud of surface measurements which can be used for a wide variety of applications.

Data output

Both laser scanners and 3DSL scanners produce high-density point clouds or polygon mesh which can be inspected directly to a CAD model, geometry or manufacturing drawings or, for legacy products can be reverse engineered using specialist software.

Accuracy and traceability

Laser scanners capture the data once as the line passes the illuminated object.  3DSL scanners sample the data many times, as fringe patterns of blue light of varying width and phase capture the form of the object. Due to the repeatability, traceability and high- resolution of measurement, the accuracy of a 3DSL scanner is described as inherently higher than that of a laser scanner. Both systems are largely unaffected by the ambient light conditions, making either type of system suitable in industrial applications. Due to the higher level of accuracy afforded by 3DSL scanning, it is particularly suitable for measuring very detailed items, capturing defined edges of parts such as turbine blades. For this reason, 3DSL is the preferred method of data capture for Aerospace and Power Generation industries due to the high-level of accuracy, resolution and full traceability of the data.


One of the big differences between Laser scanners and 3DSL (blue light) scanners is the intensity of light used. Laser scanners focus intense light and energy into a very small area and therefore one of the largest safety concerns around this is eye-safety. Blue light technology does not project with the same intensity, and therefore does not present the same risks. This makes the 3DSL technology easy to implement in a wide range of environments as it presents minimal safety issues when being used in open workshops or design studios.

Potential Scanning Area

The potential scanning area of the GOM ATOS system we use at Physical Digital can be extended without impacting on the accuracy of the scan data through the added benefit of using the GOM TRITOP photogrammetry system.  Photogrammetry is a separate metrology system designed to capture reference points using multiple digital images, using a verified DSLR camera.  The GOM system can use these reference points to extend the potential scanning area, which means it is possible to capture large objects such as entire aircraft or boats.  The majority of laser scanners do not have the ability to integrate with photogrammetry or other single point systems such as laser trackers, meaning that the accuracy when scanning larger objects can be compromised.

Physical Digital are the UK’s leading provider of 3DSL Scanning

As the UK’s leading service provider for 3D scanning metrology and reverse engineering, Physical Digital have invested heavily in the industry-leading GOM metrology system which uses 3DSL as its method of data capture. Physical Digital maintain the highest level of industry calibration and traceability for all their GOM metrology systems and where required utilise the GOM photogrammetry systems with traceable artefacts of less than <1µm uncertainty.

The 3D scanning systems used by Physical Digital record all measurement data within its dedicated specialist software. This allows vital information to be recalled at any time, such as calibration information, measurement temperature, part numbers and lighting or movement changes, along with maintaining a fully parametric link from measurement data to final report. This offers a huge advantage over every other system currently on the market and provides the full traceability required for high liability manufacturing.

Our GOM ATOS Triple Scan and Compact Scanning systems are fully mobile enabling our expert team to complete measurement at your facility, reducing the downtime of your production parts. For repeat and batch measurement projects, our automated ATOS ScanBox is the ideal solution, providing highly accurate and cost-effective data capture for larger projects.

BMW and WSR bring 3 Series back to BTCC

BMW 3 series_Photo credit Nick Moss Design

The most successful model in the history of touring car racing, the BMW 3 Series, will make a spectacular return to the British Touring Car Championship in 2019 with Team BMW and BMW Pirtek Racing.

Three examples of the 330i M Sport will be driven by Colin Turkington, Tom Oliphant and Andrew Jordan and run by reigning champion team WSR, who have designed and built the race car around the new seventh-generation model.

The 3 Series has won major championships on every continent including five Drivers’ titles and two Manufacturers’ crowns in the BTCC between 1988 and 2009 and gained iconic status as one of motor racing’s greatest cars.

Sunbury-on-Thames-based WSR began its ultra-successful relationship with BMW with the fifth-generation 320si in 2007.

Winning the Independent Drivers’ and Teams’ titles for three consecutive years, the team achieved a first outright BTCC crown in 2009 with Colin Turkington netting the Drivers’ championship at a dramatic Brands Hatch season finale.

Stephen Jelley, Rob Collard and Tom Onslow-Cole all contributed to 19 victories while WSR and Colin also claimed a win in the FIA World Touring Car Championship with the model.

The 330i M Sport replaces the 125i M Sport, which has been the most successful car in WSR’s history.

Debuted in 2013, it propelled Colin to two Drivers’ championships as well as taking four Teams’ titles, three Manufacturers’/Constructors’ crowns, 36 race wins and 116 podium finishes.

The new BTCC season starts at the legendary Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on April 6-7, with the 330i M Sport set to appear for the first time in public at the same circuit at the series’ Media Day on March 27.


Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “We are really pleased to be bringing the BMW 3 Series back to the BTCC. We achieved a great deal of success with the fifth-generation model between 2007 and 2012, so we are hugely excited to see what the latest version is capable of. A lot of hard work and countless hours lie ahead, but we are all confident of turning this car into a winner and hopefully reinstating it in its rightful place – at the front of the field in Britain’s premier motorsport series.”


Graeme Grieve, CEO, BMW UK, said: “The BMW 3 Series has a rich and successful history competing in the BTCC and we are extremely proud to see that tradition continue. This all-new BMW 3 Series is the road-going dynamic benchmark and we have a great track record working with our partners at West Surrey Racing, so 2019 looks set to be a very exciting year for us in the BTCC.”


Image information
All images show a graphical rendering of the BMW 330i to be raced by Team BMW and BMW Pirtek Racing in the 2019 British Touring Car Championship. Photo credit Nick Moss Design.

Press release credit: West Surrey Racing.

For media enquiries relating to WSR, including image requests, please contact Jamie O’Leary (+44 7725 087316 or

For media enquiries relating to Physical Digital®, please contact Lucy Steer.

Best of British are back!

Ben Murphy The Blades Racing Team

Pilot Ben Murphy and the Blades Racing Team kick off 2019 World Championship this weekend

3D scanning company Physical Digital® continue to support The Blades Racing Team as Technical Partners, as they enter the start of their second Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Just one year ago, British pilot Ben Murphy and the Blades Racing Team were making their debut in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship with an astonishing sixth-place performance at the 2018 opener in Abu Dhabi. The effort jump-started what turned out to be the best rookie season ever delivered by a graduate of the sport’s exclusive feeder class. On 8-9 February, Murphy will race over Abu Dhabi’s Corniche once again, launching a brand-new season that holds strong promise for his
first race podium.


With experience as a former Team Leader of the Red Arrows, and an exceptionally dynamic team behind him, anticipation for Murphy’s premiere season had been high among Britain’s aviation and motorsport fans last year. But the Blades’ accomplishments exceeded all expectations: no Race Day pylon hits, advancements to the Round of 8 in over 60 percent of their races, an impressive 29 World Championship points and a final placement in the top half of the field at seventh overall. Perhaps most indicative of their rapid progress were two consecutive advancements to the Final 4 to close the calendar, with Murphy finishing just a tenth of a second off the podium at the November season finale.

Acknowledging that missing the race podium by such a small margin has made him “even hungrier,” Murphy will be looking to accelerate his 2018 momentum with a strong result in Abu Dhabi on Friday and Saturday. All season long he will be joined by the same outstanding team members: Team Principal Andy Offer, Team Manager Rebecca Allen, Tactician Neil Furness, Technician Andreas Kaufmann and Team Coordinator Annie Stone. In addition, the Blades Racing Team remains in partnership with their longstanding and highly supportive sponsors, Aerobytes, Zyrad Cables and the RAF Benevolent Fund. With a full year of collaboration and experience under their belt, they have become a tight unit, determined to build on their initial successes for continued progression. Throughout the eight-race 2019 season, the Blades Racing Team will be working to refine their processes and squeeze even more performance out of their raceplane. They will also be covering the globe with more ease and efficiency than ever, thanks to a new partnership with OGIO.

“We’re continuously reviewing every detail of how we operate this year, even more so now that we have teamed up with OGIO to supply the team’s luggage to improve how we travel and get kit to and from locations,” Murphy says. “It’s just another example of how, on every level, our goal this season is to get better.”

See Britain’s only Red Bull Air Race team soar into the 2019 season. For ticket information and all the latest news on the World Championship, visit

Red Bull Air Race 2019 Calendar
8-9 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
TBA: Europe
15-16 June: Kazan, Russia
13-14 July: Budapest, Hungary
7-8 September: Chiba, Japan
TBA: Asia
19-20 October: Indianapolis, USA
8-9 November: Saudi Arabia

About Red Bull Air Race

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is an aerial motorsport series that demands a combination of speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, high performance race planes, pilots compete in iconic locations over water and land. The high speed, low altitude and extreme manoeuvrability required make it accessible only to the world’s most exceptional pilots. Flying just metres from the ground, 14 Master Class pilots race against the clock whilst reaching speeds of up to 370 km/h, requiring a combination of precision and skill unmatched in the world of aviation. Pilots must be in peak physical condition as they endure forces up to 12G while navigating the technical racetracks made up of air-filled pylons.

The Air Race was developed in 2003 and is accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), with more than 90 races completed across five continents. As the most advanced aerial challenge in existence, competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship is the highest accolade for elite pilots.

A Challenger Cup feeder series was introduced in 2014 with the goal of facilitating the development of the unique skills required for the Master Class for the next generation of pilots.

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What is Reverse Engineering?

What is Reverse Engineering? Physical Digital Reverse Engineering Services

It is a very common question asked, what is reverse engineering?

In mechanical engineering, the term reverse engineering (often abbreviated to RE) is used to summarise the process of reconstructing an existing object. When designing an object from scratch, an engineer will draw up a design specification and produce drawings from which the item is constructed.

Conversely, with reverse engineering, the design engineer starts with the final product and works through the design process in the opposite direction to arrive at the product design specification. During the process, vital information about the design concept and manufacturing methods is discovered.

The process of reverse engineering begins by gaining dimensional information of the object via 3D scanning, whether it is a mechanical component, a consumer product or an ancient artefact.

Reverse engineering involves acquiring three-dimensional positional data in the point cloud. There are many ways of gathering valuable dimensional information about the product, but using an accurate 3D measuring system is paramount. The accuracy of the data captured will impact the quality and deviation of the Reverse Engineered model when compared to the original.

Physical Digital uses the globally-recognised GOM 3D structured light scanning systems, which offer highly-accurate, traceable and repeatable measurement. The surface data captured is then passed to our in-house design team to establish the original design intent of the object.

What is Reverse Engineering used for?

Reverse engineering enables the duplication of an existing part by capturing the component’s physical dimensions, features, and material properties. There are a wide range of reasons for reverse engineering an object, including:

Legacy Components – For many components that were designed and manufactured years ago, there are no existing 2D drawings or 3D CAD data from which to reproduce the object. Here, reverse engineering is a vital means to gain the information to recreate the product.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) issues – If the OEM is no longer trading or has lost design measurements, then Reverse Engineering will supply the vital product information to continue manufacturing of that object.

Design Development, Part Testing & Analysis – Through reverse engineering, a 3D product can be quickly captured in digital form and remodelled or analysed in order to achieve improved design iterations.

Competitor Analysis – Any organisation can analyse competitor products through reverse engineering.

Bespoke and Ancient objects – Where there is no information about the dimensions of an object except for the physical item itself, the quickest and most reliable way to reproduce it will be by reverse engineering. Where a product is organic in shape (not a standard geometry such as cuboid or cylindrical), designing in CAD may be challenging as it can be difficult to ensure that the CAD model will be acceptably close to the sculpted model. Reverse engineering avoids this problem as the physical model is the source of the information for the CAD model.

Modern manufacturing – methods such as Additive Manufacturing rely on reverse engineering.

Digital Archiving – Museum pieces and historic artefacts can be captured through 3D scanning, then reverse engineered and the resulting CAD data can be held in case of any future damage to the object or any need to reproduce parts of the item.


Time and cost-effective way to produce models and products

The process of reverse engineering is particularly cost effective if the items to be reverse engineered represent a significant financial investment or will be reproduced in large quantities. Another advantage presented by reverse engineering is in compressing the product development cycle. In a highly competitive global market, manufacturers constantly strive to shorten lead-times to bring a new product to market. With reverse engineering, a 3D model can be quickly captured in digital form and remodelled if necessary or exported for a variety of manufacturing methods such as Additive Manufacturing, Vacuum Casting or CNC machining.

How to capture the data for Reverse Engineering 

Representing the geometry of the part in terms of surface points is the first step in creating parametric or free-form surfaces. A highly accurate and dense polygon mesh is created from the point cloud using the native measurement software or a dedicated reverse engineering software.

The added benefit of a photogrammetry system provides even greater certainty of the data captured for larger objects, such as entire aircraft or boats. Photogrammetry is a separate metrology system designed to capture reference points using multiple digital images, using a verified DSLR camera. The GOM 3D scanning system can use these reference points to extend the potential scanning area, which means it is possible to capture larger items, which can then be reverse engineered.

Reverse engineering process

Depending on the downstream application for the CAD model, different types of surfaces can be created. For example, this could range from producing a fully parametric CAD model which can be easily modified, which is likely to be required when undertaking redesign or optimisation. Compared to where the part is going to be remanufactured or analysed, when a clean representation could be employed.

Through the use of inspection software, analysis of the CAD model is performed and reported to the Client. This highlights the maximum deviations between the scan data and CAD model and documents that the requirements of the specification have been met.

Why do we use Computer Aided Design (CAD)? 

Through the use of various CAD and reverse engineering software, we can create accurate data for manufacturing, analyse how it will perform and improve existing designs.

CAD is used to create two- or three-dimensional (2D or 3D) graphical representations of physical objects. In product and industrial design, CAD is used mainly for the creation of detailed 3D solid or surface models, or 2D vector-based drawings of physical components. However, CAD is also used throughout the engineering process from conceptual design and layout of products, through strength and dynamic analysis of assemblies, to the definition of manufacturing methods. This allows an engineer to analyse design variants, to find the optimal design for manufacturing while minimising the use of physical prototypes