A client has a cable reel assembly that consists of two winged holders and a grooved wheel that functions as pulley for a cable reel system on a machine. Due to material degrading over the years, one of the winged piece snapped as shown in the picture.
The client tried to contact the machine maker to seek for replacement part to no avail as the equipment had reached its end of lifecycle and thus no more replacement parts left.
Metal Machines decided to take up this problem as a case study on proof of concept by using the LDI SLP 3D scanner mounted on a Tomelleri Spacearm to conduct reverse engineering process.
3D scanning was conducted on both the damage and undamaged winged holders to gather point cloud data via the Geomagic software. The converted CAD model of the broken wing holder was reinstated by taking reference from the undamaged winged piece with engineering design to reinforce the structure. The redesigned reel was then 3D printed out via a FDM printer. With the wide variety of different plastic material available in market now, client will be able to choose that best suited plastic material for the usage of the cable reel assembly.
The proposed concept is a viable solution that client can adopt to eliminate stocking up or sourcing for end of lifecycle parts which have very limited quantity to justify for traditional approach of plastic injection moulding. With 3D scanning option readily available, client can shortlist their critical equipment parts to be scanned, stored and 3D print or machined out using the CAD file only when needs arises.This will definitely contribute time saving as well as future proofing their equipment usage.