3D Laser Scanning Services: Ford to Restore Michigan Central Station
They’re Creating the Michigan Central Mobility Innovation District
While concrete 3D printing is all the rage, 3D printing and 3D laser scanning services in construction have a variety of other applications that have yet to be fully explored.
Using 3D scanning and printing services in restoration has perplexed some folks for several years. Many projects have employed 3D printing and scanning technologies to recreate buildings, features, windowsills, and more. Such endeavors tend to keep a low profile.
Ford is presenting an additive repair effort that they hope will encourage other people to do the same. To create the “Michigan Central Mobility Innovation District,” a team is now rebuilding the Michigan Central Station.
One hundred years after it was built, a disused train depot in Detroit is being meticulously restored to serve as a hub for urban transportation startups, entrepreneurs, and Ford’s mobility team.
The business previously used additives to rehabilitate the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and other areas of the Fairlane Estate. The team had to rebuild several extremely fine window pieces and tiles for the Michigan Central project.
Before the CAD files were cleaned up and fixed, the remaining tiles and other existing elements were scanned utilizing 3D laser scanning services.
In several situations, the team used multiple scans of the same tile to build a complete piece. Those were 3D printed in Redford Township at Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility.
Harold Sears, the additive manufacturing technical leader for manufacturing at Ford, stated, “Ford might have decided to merely renovate Michigan Central Station, but they’re taking great measures to make sure this thing actually replicates the way this facility looked and felt inside and outside.”
How 3D Laser Scanning Services Played a Part
More than 550 elements for flower rosettes were 3D printed by the team. The 3D scanning services took months, and 3D printing took three weeks.
You might be forgiven for thinking this is a little initiative for the automaker. Although this is a great application for many countries, it has great potential. The original architectural characteristics of many buildings are being preserved by restorers, construction companies, governments, and development companies.
These are frequently crafted by hand from wrought iron or plaster. In some instances, we’d be hard-pressed to duplicate this ability level. It has also been time-consuming and would be prohibitively expensive to repeat.
We may be unable to replicate these artifacts since we don’t grasp the artisanship needed. Furthermore, 3D laser scan and printing services are the only means by which these specifics may be duplicated at a reasonable price.
And it’s being done in a limited fashion worldwide, but no one is talking about it. So, for the most part, the industry cannot meet this demand.
This project would have been doomed from the outset if it had required months of constant scanning. When it comes to the restoration of buildings, however, 3D printing and scanning services can be a very low-cost, cost-effective, and time-saving option.
The business case for architectural details is excellent since the parts are so small. Even large parts may be 3D printed at a low cost and with astonishing results. Gargoyles, architectural sculptures, bas reliefs, façade components, monumental wood parts, and statues fall within this category. Non-load bearing arches, stair railings, handrails, grilles, plasterwork, and more are all included.
There are no concerns with rough surfaces because the paint will cover them. And when you compare the amount of time it would take to do the same job another way, the prices seem inconsequential.
3D printing and scanning services have a huge opportunity here, but it’s been mostly ignored.