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Aircraft Manufacturing Company Uses SHINING 3D FreeScan UE Pro for Sailplane Quality Control

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Aircraft makers know that handheld 3D scanners are the best solution when it comes to performing complex quality control and documenting their handcrafted structures for use in design and modification in the future.

Both FreeScan UE Pro and EinScan HX were used.

Since its establishment in 1926, Akaflieg Stuttgart has trained hundreds of aspiring engineers and served as the site where a number of aviation pioneers built their first aircraft. Numerous prototypes have been created throughout the years by dedicated Akaflieg members. Some of these advancements have significantly influenced the design and manufacture of aircraft. The academic aviation club in Karlsruhe has developed a very cutting-edge sailplane project called the AK-X.

The project manager Dominic contacted 3D Scan Academy to quantify deviations for future part replacement with the use of a 3D scanner and to archive this data information because the AK-X is a sailplane with numerous curved surfaces and is challenging to measure in traditional ways.

Engineers from 3D Scan Academy scanned the airframe using FreeScan UE Pro to check for differences from CAD. Due to the manual nature of the production process, it was possible to compare the hand-placed components to the scanned 3D model to determine whether there were any significant discrepancies. Additionally, the engineers used varying pavement thicknesses when building the fuselage that weren't fully included in the CAD. With the use of FreeScan UE Pro, precise scanning, the different thicknesses were recorded for the benefit of future parts that are still in the design process.

In order to record the controls inside the wing housing, the engineers also scanned the interior of the wing. As proof, these records were preserved. A new generation of binocular photogrammetry systems that can precisely measure the entire 3D data of big fuselages and wings are integrated into FreeScan UE Pro as a measuring tool.

Engineers use EinScan HX to scan textures because it includes a built-in color camera that offers texture scanning for AK-X to be able to view multiple lay-up directions and more accurately identify materials. EinScan HX also has a suitable scanning efficiency and accuracy.

Dominic then entered the scanned data into the inspection program to check whether the wings and fuselage that were generated matched the CAD drawings. The majority of them were fortunately green, and neither one created significant deviation. Some hand traces were seen as acceptable changes as well. According to Dominic, "we save ourselves a lot of manual labour in the construction with the 3D scanners as inspection tools since we can better adjust the part to it right from the start and have to do less sanding, less physical work, and less measuring."

The efficient quality monitoring and documenting of the hand-crafted structures was made possible in this project by the coordination between FreeScan UE Pro and EinScan HX. The digital methodology surely guarantees accuracy and speeds up the entire operation when compared to older measurement methods.

Dominic continues, "As you can see, we were able to learn a lot from these 3D scans, and this will save us a lot of labor in the future.

For more information on SHINING 3D solution, please contact your local Dynagraph representative.


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