Additive Manufacturing Strategies

BMW M3 Spoilers Recreated Using 3D Scanners for US Market, Thanks to EMS

ST Medical Devices

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BMW isn’t just for luxury: the BMW M series of sport cars have been around since the ’60s. The M, which stands for Motorsport, signifies a BMW-made vehicle with… well, a few modifications for the racing world. 250px-Bmw_M_logo

The BMW M3 is a modified version of the still-fancy-but-not-as-fast BMW 3-Series compact executive car, which is BMW’s best selling model. The M3 made its debut in 1988 and has been a strong seller ever since. While the entire M series of cars are best known for modifications to their aerodynamics, engines, exteriors, interior trims, suspensions, and transmissions, the M3 in particular features additional enhancements: these cars are “more powerful [with] responsive engines, improved handling/suspension/braking systems, aerodynamic body enhancements, and interior/exterior accents with the tri-colour ‘M’ (Motorsport) emblem”P90053704BMW’s light version of its M3, introduced in autumn 2012, features lightweighting measures including weight-saving materials and a carbon fiber rear decklid spoiler and front chin spoiler. These cars’ heightened performance, lighter weight, and “aggressive” appearance immediately appealed to BMW afficianados worldwide… only problem? BMW only made these cars available in Europe.

Drivers in the US wanted the same look! Simply put, those spoilers were cool.bmwResponding to the desires of their customers, RSC Tuning, based in Miami, Florida, sought to offer these spoilers as aftermarket accessories. RSC Tuning offers aerodynamic kits for luxury cars including the likes of Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, and Ferrari. Catering to high-end desires is their specialty.

Without in-house 3D scanning or CAD modeling capabilities, RSC Tuning turned to Tampa-based Engineering and Manufacturing Services, Inc. (EMS). EMS has a strong portfolio of completed projects woremslogoking with the 3D scanning of automobiles, as well as a staff of industrial designers and mechanical engineers.

Using their Creaform EXAscan handheld 3D scanner, EMS took images of the front and rear pieces on the new M3. This scanner was perfectly suited to this application, as it could easily access the trunk lid and the underside of the front of the car. The car provided to EMS to scan happened to be shiny black, and the EXAscan proved its worth as it exhibits high quality with dark surface scanning.

Following the scanning, EMS’ designers used RapidForm XOR software (now Geomagic Design X) to work on the front and rear spoilers and create appropriate CAD models. From there, EMS produced the final pieces for RSC’s customers. The spoilers, created using precise 3D scanning, exactly matched those made in Germany. Aggressively spoilered BMW M3 cars are now able to drive the streets of the US, thanks to 3D modeling!

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