Redesign Sport uses 3D scanning for reverse engineering of 1952 Ferrari

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A UK automotive expert is making waves with his novel approach to restoring cars. Dafyd Richards is a self-described car addict and the founder of Redesign Sport Ltd (RSL), a tiny car restoration company near St. Albans.
Not just any restorer, Richards and his bespoke studio have been breathing new life into historic and discontinued vehicles that would otherwise be relegated to collections and museums, where they would remain unused. Most recently, Richards successfully restored a 1952 Ferrari to perfect working condition, a feat that many would deem virtually impossible given the rarity of the parts.
“As the parts get harder and harder to source (and the cars rarer and rarer), we’ve realised that we need to take matters into our own hands. The vehicles we had coming through were highly significant or historically one of a kind,” Richards told press.
So what’s Richards’ secret? As the RSL founder will readily tell you, 3D scanning technology has proved unprecedentedly key to his work.
“In the last 3-5 years, there has been a revolution and evolution in the scanning technology available,” Richards said. I remember when I first saw a FaroArm in action, then a Faro Focus 3D scanner. It blew my mind.”
Richards and the rest of his RSL team realized they could now scan old, broken parts, and use the data for CAD modelling. Scanning means improved accuracy and reduced delays, says Richards, who also noted that previous methods sometimes relied on engineers modeling a component from memory.
No longer the “black art” of auto restoration, reverse engineering has become a viable solution thanks to 3D scanning tech like the Creaform HandySCAN 700 and the Romer Arm, two systems Richards uses, along with software such as VX Elements and Geomagic Design X.
Most recently, Richards has been tinkering with a 1952 Ferrari 225 that was specially flown in from the U.S. RSL was given 8 weeks to get the car race-ready for the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, with “every nut and bolt inside the engine” loose.
Richards began with scanning the piston using the HandySCAN, modelling the data in Geomagic Design X, then live transferring everything into SOLIDWORKS for tweaking. eDrawings and part files flew back and forth between RSL and the manufacturer, and within 4 days of the initial scan, 12 pistons went into production. RSL had the new parts in hand a mere three weeks later. Richards used the similar process for remodeling two distributors on the Ferrari, which were initially causing problems with the car’s ignition system.
Even Richards himself was still amazed at the precision achieved. “The parts had only ever been together on the screen in SOLIDWORKS, but when they all arrived they all fitted together right first time,” he said. “I knew they would but it was still an amazing feeling when they did.”
The ending was a happy one. The Ferrari drove “magnificently” at the Monaco race, and was delivered promptly back to the States, where it remains in excellent condition.