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Wheelchair Frame Reverse Engineering

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The wheelchair frame acts as the structural foundation, providing support for the user. Engineers craft frames to be robust, light, and adaptable, factoring in agility for peak performance.

We used 3D scanning on this project to generate competitor reference data to better understand the angles and dimensions the competitor used in their design and what could be utilised or improved upon. We then went on to reverse engineer this data to create fresh bent tube profiles and manufacturing CAD.

Creating reference data to work from

Tubular frame geometry is difficult to capture using manual methods and is prone human error. 3D scanning solves this, generating a reliable likeness of the frame design and hinging assemblies ready for analysis, reverse engineering or inspection. This frame was painted white and no issue for our scanner!

Base Wheelchair Frame 3D Scan

Next was the competitor frame. This frame was not folding and made of bare titanium – so a little different to the first frame.

Competitor Wheelchair Frame 3D Scan

Overlay Analysis

Overlaying both 3D scans, we can observe the geometry difference between the two frame designs. This allows designers to review:

  • Best geometry for a specific purpose
  • Optimal frame angles for agility or comfort
  • Cost-down opportunities a manufacturer could make

Create New CAD Data to Manufacture New Parts

Taking 3D scan data of the wheelchair frame in to reverse engineering software allows us to create an assembly of single tube sections that can be cut, bent and notched to detailed and precise CAD data. This is perfect for re-manufacturing old frame assemblies or creating a competitor benchmark frame to analyse.

With the brand-new parametric CAD data completed we conducted a deviance analysis. Setting the tolerance, we observed the majority of the part was within 0.5mm of the scan data.

CAD-to-scan Deviation Analysis (left) & New CAD (right)
New CAD Ready For Manufacture
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