What is laser scanning? How is 3D optical scanning different? Many people confuse 3D Structured Light (3DSL) scanning with laser scanning. It’s true both methods capture the geometric or organic form of a physical object, but do you know what differentiates 3D Structured Light scanning from laser scanning? Whilst it may look like both methods do same thing, there are fundamental differences between the two:
Category

Reverse engineering

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.

Safety

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 jamie@topstepcommunications.co.uk).

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 jumpstarted 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 www.redbullairrace.com.

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.

For more editorial content, visit www.redbullairracenewsroom.com.

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

How much does 3D scanning cost?

How much does 3D scanning cost? 3D scanning at Physical Digital Facility

One of the first things customers would like to know when they contact Physical Digital is how much does 3D scanning cost?

The answer is that the cost of 3D scanning can vary greatly from project to project and there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when quoting. The team at Physical Digital® team assess the following to provide an accurate cost:

Scale of object:

Physical Digital have the capability to capture large-scale objects in high-resolution, but the level of detail required downstream for the project will affect the process used, time taken and overall cost. Photogrammetry is often used as the initial data capture method to generate a highly-accurate point cloud which is referenced by the ATOS Triple scan sensor. This will help to reduce deviation on large-scale projects such as aircraft.

Complexity of the object:

Physical Digital deliver their 3D scanning services using world-renowned GOM metrology equipment, which works by line of site. This means that it captures highly-accurate surface data by projecting a phase-shifting fringe pattern using 3D structured blue light onto the surface of your object. The more complex and detailed the surface, the more scans and time it will take to capture the data, influencing the overall cost of the project.

Number of components to be scanned:

Whilst we often scan single components, for multiple-part scans we have an automated measurement facility which offers a significant cost benefit as a batch measurement solution. Where required, our in-house design team can design and manufacture bespoke or modular fixtures to enable even faster scanning of these parts, which can greatly reduce the cost per object.

Location:

When quoting for a project we will take into consideration where the 3D scanning will take place, i.e. if you will be sending the part/s to be scanned at our facility in Surrey, or if you require our mobile 3D scanning services to be delivered on-site, at a location of your choice. Many of our customers see the benefits of on-site scanning as it reduces the overall down-time of the part, subsequently reducing the length of the project.

Deliverable:

We can provide the raw scan data, however we are also able to provide you with in-depth inspection reports or our expert in-house design team can reverse engineer a surface model into CAD and provide manufacturing drawings. The complexity of the object will directly affect the time it will take to be reverse engineered which will of course affect the price.

Downstream use of the data:

Considering what the data will be used for is also an important consideration when quoting on new projects.  For example if the part is being used for special/visual analysis then the resolution can be reduced speeding up the measurement process and therefore reducing the overall project cost.

 

Physical Digital is the largest and longest-established approved GOM service provider in the UK, providing high-accuracy, fully traceable data to a wide variety of industrial sectors and beyond. Our experienced team will work with you to tailor a measurement solution to suit your requirements, whether that is to be completed at our facility in Surrey or on-site at your place of work.

To find out how Physical Digital’s 3D scanning services could support your project, contact us today on +44 (0) 1483 750200 for a no-obligation 3D scanning quote or to chat with one of our team to find out more.

WSR’s Dick Bennetts Motorsport Honour

Dick Bennetts celebrates winning the 2018 British Touring Car Championship Teams' title with Team BMW.

Dick Bennetts has been honoured in his homeland by being named as a founder member of the New Zealand International Grand Prix Legends’ Club. The WSR Team Principal was inducted at a special legends’ lunch during the New Zealand Motor Cup event at Hampton Downs last Sunday (27 January).

Unable to attend in person, Dick’s membership was accepted on his behalf by friend and fellow inductee David Oxton.

Born and raised in Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island in 1947, Dick developed a love of motorsport from an early age and, keen to pursue his career in Europe, accompanied Oxton – the reigning New Zealand Formula Ford Champion – on what was billed as a two-year stint in the UK in 1972.

After working for Fred Opert Racing and March Engineering, Dick joined Ron Dennis’ Project 4 operation and engineered Niki Lauda to the BMW M1 Procar title in 1979 and Stefan Johansson to the British Formula 3 crown the following season.

Setting up West Surrey Racing in early 1981 to run Jonathan Palmer; racing protégé of West Surrey Engineering boss Mike Cox, Dick oversaw an incredible debut race win and debut championship victory for the team.

It was the first of five British titles to be won by WSR; Ayrton Senna, Mauricio Gugelmin, Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello also triumphing. Two Macau GP wins and several one-off victories in Germany, Italy and Japan were also achieved as well as 56 British F3 victories – a record at the point at which the team exited the series at the end of 1995.

Dick moved WSR into the British Touring Car Championship in 1996; an ultra-successful period for the team that has brought them ‘Manufacturer’ status with Ford, Honda, MG and, since 2017, BMW.

In that time, a host of top-level drivers, including Paul Radisich, Nigel Mansell, Tom Kristensen, Andy Priaulx and Colin Turkington have climbed behind the wheel of WSR-run cars and achieved great success.

In total, WSR have won three BTCC Drivers’ titles, four Teams’ crowns and three Manufacturers’ championships; each one coming in the past decade with BMWs, plus 80 victories, nearly 300 podiums, and a race win in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

WSR have also undertaken extensive motorsport and motoring research and development programmes for a variety of clients and have also used their circuit design consultancy to assist with the creation in the past decade of the Dubai Autodrome, UAE, and Hampton Downs, New Zealand, plus the redevelopment of Silverstone’s Formula 1 circuit.

Dick shows no signs of slowing up either; the 2018 season being one of WSR’s best ever as the team; based in Sunbury-on-Thames, won the BTCC Drivers’, Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles and head into the new year targeting further success.

 

Dick Bennetts, WSR Team Principal, said: “I feel incredibly humbled to be a founding member of the New Zealand International Grand Prix Legends’ Club. For a country of less than five million people, my homeland has made an incredible contribution to global motorsport through racing folk like Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme, Ken Smith, Scott Dixon and Brendon Hartley and I feel honoured to even have my name spoken in the same sentence as these guys. While the WSR success story has been UK-based, I am a proud New Zealander and it’s the skills and ingenuity I learnt and developed as a young engineer there that have been the catalyst to everything that has followed over the past 45 years. It’s an extremely proud moment and is a tribute to everyone that’s played a part WSR’s successes and those that came before.”

Press release credit: WSR

For media enquiries please contact: Jamie O’Leary (jamie@topstepcommunications.co.uk)

 

Physical Digital is the largest and longest-established approved GOM service provider in the UK, providing high-accuracy, fully traceable data to a wide variety of industrial sectors and beyond. Our experienced team are proud to support WSR with their 3D scanning and measurement needs, and look forward to supporting them during the upcoming BTCC 2019 season.

To find out how Physical Digital’s 3D scanning services could support your project, contact us today for a no-obligation quote or to chat with one of our team to find out more. Our team will work be delighted to with you to tailor a measurement solution to suit your requirements, whether that is to be completed at our facility in Surrey or on-site at your place of work.

Review of 2018 for Physical Digital®

With a new year ahead, we thought it was time for a bit of reflection over 2018 and what a busy year it has been!

Physical Digital’s team of hardworking engineers have certainly travelled some miles this year, as GOM 3D measurement service providers we have driven the length and breadth of the UK and have been lucky enough to travel to some international customers to deliver 3D measurement in Singapore and Japan! We have been to conferences, trade shows, awards events, delivered educational talks to multiple universities, launched a new website, achieved our ISO 9001:2015 certification, expanded our team, supported our technical partners and captured an obscene amount of surface data (our IT team love us!). That’s a lot of stuff!!

A busy year for Physical Digital as GOM 3D measurement service providers

Our 3D measurement, reverse engineering and quality inspection services were in high-demand throughout 2018.  But that didn’t stop us from supporting future Engineers! We were proud to be able to support two Formula Student university teams last year by providing 3D scanning and reverse engineering for their engines and various parts, helping the students in their quest to build a single seat race car for the IMECHE competition. We are delighted to be doing the same this year having already partnered with Portsmouth University Formula Student Team, UP Racing.

As recommended providers of 3D measurement using GOM metrology systems, we were employed to complete a vast number of scans for the automotive sector and lost count of the number of full vehicle benchmarks that we completed out on site, as well as at our facility in Guildford. We were also lucky enough to scan many clay model vehicle designs in the automotive design studios throughout 2018. It’s fantastic seeing something go from concept to production and being part of that process.

We also attended a number of trade shows, but one of the most memorable was the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge. This was a new show for us, and it was great to see young engineers so excited to learn about the innovative 3D scanning technology. There was a great buzz about the whole event, so we will look forward to attending that one again this year. Another stand out event was the new Siemens Digital University held at Silverstone. A great audience who were keen to understand how 3D scanning can benefit businesses by providing accurate, high-quality 3D data using industry-leading GOM measurement systems, which can help assist product design, refine production processes and improve product efficiency.

Always a highlight in our calendar is the BTCC season launch in April as it sees the start of an exciting summer of motor racing! Physical Digital have proudly supported triple Championship winners WSR during 2018 by providing our 3D scanning and reverse engineering services which helps the team complete vital analysis of their race cars and we look forward to working with them again throughout this year. 2018 also saw a new technical partnership evolve for Physical Digital.  We were commissioned by the talented Blades Racing Team to provide 3D scanning for their Edge 540 race plane, providing them with traceable, high-accuracy data enabling the team to complete vital analysis and simulate the plane in different scenarios using a CAE package. This will aid future development of the aircraft, improve aerodynamics and performance. 2019 will be another exciting year for The Blades, so once again we look forward to working together.

We also had the delight of being joined by Courtney, our summer intern, last year, who came to work alongside us to increase her knowledge of high-accuracy 3D scanning and its benefits. She was a great asset to the team during her short time with the company. Courtney was excited to share what she had learnt at Physical Digital with her peers from university, resulting in us  delivering another educational presentation to engineering students at Cambridge University on all things 3D measurement.

 

Working across many industrial sectors means that our services often cross-over into new arenas, enabling us to offer new and intuitive solutions to niche market areas. In 2018 our experience in the automotive sector crossed over into the world of art, when we were commissioned to scan a Lamborghini Countach for wire-frame artist Benedict Radcliffe. The results are simply stunning and really showcase how 3D measurement can help support a vast array of businesses to achieve the best results using our highly-accurate 3D data.

One of our biggest achievements of 2018 was being awarded our ISO 9001:2015 UKAS certification for Quality Management. Quality is at the very forefront of our business, without it we couldn’t offer the high-levels of service that we do. Whilst we have been certified to the ISO 9001:2008 QMS for the past 5 years, it was a long process of refining procedures and introducing new and improved business processes. We are very proud the hard work paid off and that we can continue to offer such an exceptional level of quality to our customers.

We rounded off the year with a little international trip to Japan and Singapore where two of our experienced engineers provided our 3D scanning services on site to one of our much-valued customers at one of their international plants. It is always great to travel and experience new cultures, whilst marvelling customers with the level of detailed data our GOM metrology systems can achieve. Let’s hope there will be lots more travel throughout 2019!

2018 has been a year of cars, turbine blades, automotive design studios, motorbikes, art, aeroplanes, satellites, industrial gas turbines, race tracks and more. We are very much looking forward to what 2019 has to offer our growing business!

Great Britain’s Murphy makes his mark on World Championship

At the Red Bull Air Race season finale in Fort Worth, USA on Sunday, British pilot Ben Murphy finished in the Final Four for the second stop in a row, clinching the best rookie-season performance of any graduate of the sport’s second competition category, the Challenger Class.

Fort Worth, USA – Murphy and his Blades Racing Team burst onto the World Championship scene with a stunning sixth place at February’s season opener in Abu Dhabi, ultimately accumulating a substantial 29 points across the eight races to finish seventh overall. The season finale at Texas Motor Speedway was a roller-coaster for the British team, seeing them recover from 12th place in Qualifying to their fourth position in the race, a mere 0.1 second between Ben and his fist podium position.

“It’s the fairytale ending of our first season. When I think back to that first race in Abu Dhabi, I don’t believe we could’ve thought that we could achieve this much in such a short space of time,” said Murphy, a former Team Leader of the RAF aerobatic team, the Red Arrows. “I’m ecstatic, not just for me, but for the whole team as well. It was a really difficult race, because we just couldn’t dial it in during Free Practice and Quali. And when I came to the Race Airport today, I didn’t expect to be in the Final Four. But what a way to go into 2019.”

For the second year in a row, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship came down to the final flight of the final race, and both times, the pilot under pressure was Martin Šonka (CZE). Last year, the Czech ace saw the title slip through his fingers. In Fort Worth, it was the USA’s Michael Goulian who came into the season finale with the overall lead, but after barely making it out of the opening round due to engine issues, he faced Šonka in the Round of 8. Two penalties for the American gave his Czech rival the advancement, and then the title was down to Šonka and Australia’s Matt Hall as they flew in the Final Four along with Murphy and American Kirby Chambliss. Hall topped Chambliss and Murphy with 53.100s before Šonka claimed the title with 52.796s.

When the race awards were handed out at Texas Motor Speedway, the cheers for third-place Chambliss, a Texas native, were as loud as those for race winner Šonka and second-place Hall. Then, when the World Championship trophy was presented, Šonka was sprayed with champagne by Hall and Goulian, in the biggest celebration of the season.

Team work achieves results!

The Team at Physical Digital® have been avidly following Ben Murphy and The Blades Racing Team’s “Rookie” journey during this Red Bull Air Race World Championship. We have been proud suppliers of 3D Measurement for this Edge 540 aircraft, flown throughout this Championship, which has allowed the team to conduct analysis using CFD and make design modifications using the reliable and traceable data, with the aim of improving overall performance.

The dedication and hardwork of this team has delivered fantastic results for them and we are so excited to see how they prepare for next year. We are sure Ben Murphy will continue to achieve great things for The Blades Racing Team. Well done and huge congratulations to them all!

Results Master Class Race, Fort Worth 2018: 1. Martin Šonka (CZE), 2. Matt Hall (AUS), 3. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 4. Ben Murphy (GBR), 5. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 6. Mika Brageot (FRA), 7. Juan Velarde (ESP), 8. Michael Goulian (USA), 9. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 10. François Le Vot (FRA), 11. Pete McLeod (CAN), 12. Petr Kopfstein (CZE), 13. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 14. Cristian Bolton (CHI)

Final standings, 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship: 1. Martin Šonka (CZE) 80 points,  2. Matt Hall (AUS) 75 pts, 3. Michael Goulian (USA) 73 pts, 4. Mika Brageot 41 pts, 5. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 40 pts, 6. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 34 pts, 7. Ben Murphy (GBR) 29 pts, 8. Pete McLeod (CAN) 27 pts, 9. Juan Velarde (ESP) 24 pts, 10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 22 pts, 11. François Le Vot (FRA) 22 pts, 12. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 17 pts, 13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 16 pts, 14. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 12 pts

About Red Bull Air Race

Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has held more than 85 races around the globe. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 370 km/h while enduring forces of up to 12G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship.

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