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Wheelchair Castor Fork Reverse Engineering

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Caster forks on a wheelchair hold and support the front caster wheels, enabling smooth rotation for enhanced wheelchair manoeuvrability and providing stable, easy movement for the user. They are adjustable, sturdy components that play a crucial role in wheelchair functionality.

In this project, we explore the benefits and enhancements 3D scanning brings including:

  • 3D scan-to-CAD
  • Deviance reporting
  • Manufacturing drawings
  • Design improvements
  • Prototyping

Capturing 3D data of an existing part

Using our Creaform laser-based 3D scanner we’re able to capture the features, details and surfaces of the caster fork in incredible detail. This ensures no features are missed or surface misrepresented.

The scan captured all the necessary details to reverse engineering this part including the dowel diameters, hole locations and thread sizes.

Capturing the data is only part of the story. Utilising the mesh body, we’re able to analyse, enhance or re-manufacture parts as if the CAD data had always existed.

Point Cloud to Wireframe to Mesh Surface
3D scan of the castor wheel and fork

Creating new CAD data from 3D scan output

Using scan data to reverse engineer a part is faster and more reliable than error-prone, time consuming manual measurement and recreation. We’re quickly able to generate usable parametric CAD data for design, development or manufacture. Using the scan data in this way ensures the often complicated features and complex surfaces are captured and the design intent is then reproduced accurately.

Scan to CAD

Computer modelling using parameters and constraints to create or modify CAD models based on defined relationships and dimensions.

Validating the new CAD data

Creating a deviation map involves comparing the newly-generated data with the scan data to ensure the accuracy of the data created. This process enables the identification of any deviations in a part, allowing for necessary corrections or incorporation into the new model.

CAD Model and Deviation Analysis

Generating manufacturing files to produce new parts

With CAD data now available, tooling can be created, moulds manufactured or CNC toolpaths written in order to turn the CAD data in to a reality.

Manufacturing drawings, GD&T and GAs can be created using the CAD data to facilitate clear communication between manufacturing partners.

Manufacturing drawing for the newly created Castor Fork

Developing a new design

Fierce competition in the market place drives innovation and pushes the limits of what is possible.

3D scanning and reverse engineering parts affords a level of analysis not accessible otherwise. Taking competitor designs and improving upon them accelerates your time to market and saves engineering resource.

Parametric CAD data based off the 3D scan data allows the CAD models to be modified quickly to generate multiple iterations of a design. These can now be used for testing and prototyping to assess their performance.

Design iterations using the same pick-up points and key geometery

Prototyping is a key feature in the development loop. 3D printing has allowed this to happen faster, more frequently and earlier in the process. 3D printing new design developments is a vital step in validating the design and ensuring the design works as intended.

3D printing the wheel caster forks allows the design to be reviewed on it’s performance, assembly and appearance.

3D Printed Visual Prototypes
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