A three-dimensional imaging process is being used to generate computer models of out-of-production aircraft parts for use in reverse engineering.

Under the Opticam project co-sponsored by the US Air Force, a digital camera developed by Spatial Integrated Systems (SIS) scans the part to capture its geometry, which is then fed into a UGS computer-aided design system to create a solid model for manufacturing.

If the part is worn, the VZX Imaging system can recreate what it would have looked like when new, says Greg Walker, manager corporate sales and marketing for Rockville, Maryland-based SIS. Under the Opticam project, the process has been used to reverse-engineer window frames, antenna covers and helicopter parts. The system has also been used to create a plan for repair of battle damage, he says.

Source: Flight International