Reverse Engineering A Unique Motorbike Body Design
Company: Taylormade Racing
Industry: Automotive Manufacture
Taylormade Racing (Facebook |Twitter) decided to build a Grand prix bike to showcase its carbon-fibre expertise. British-based designer John Keogh, in partnership with Paul Taylor, decided that the recently introduced Moto2 class-with a stock Honda CBR 600 engine would allow them to actualize their ideas without having to worry about engine development. Using our 3D scanning technology, they were able to see their dreams enter reality.
Keogh immediately set to work drawing up the general layout while ignoring pretty much all the normal conventions of motorcycle design. The new design would have a radiator under the seat (rather than in front of the engine) and a wishbone suspension system (instead of telescopic forks). In addition, it would have a full monocoque chassis with carbon-fibre as its material and a swing-arm of the same composite. A tall central fuel tank would be added to minimize weight shift with diminishing fuel load. This design clashed with the need to duct air from the high-pressure on the nose back through the headstock over the mandated airbox and to the under seat mounted radiator. The solution: a ‘doughnut’ duct that would go straight through the middle of the fuel cell.
3D scan Alliance, a UK consultancy group, suggested a 'structured light' 3D scanner. Structured light scanners are often more associated with metrology type applications due to their ultra-high accuracy and resolution. The Solutionix CS2+ was selected for its fast 'Blue LED' technology. Capable of scanning the dark surface of the body panels in 1.5 hours in total, the subsequent mesh processing took about 30 minutes. The full digital representation of the bodywork that was taking shape in the US could now be shared between design work in the UK and other contributing parties.
"The scanning process was absolutely vital us. Not only is Solutionix a quick and highly accurate process it is allowing us to correlate any modifications and refine the performance of the bike further. It is an invaluable part of the design process."
The end result was a highly potent racing bike with a unique design heavily reliant on reverse engineering through scanning and hands on modeling.