Ford Restores Michigan Central Station With 3D Laser Scanning Services and Printing Technology
Damaged Architectural Elements Brought Back To Life
Ford, the multi-national automaker, has used 3D laser scanning services and printing to assist in the restoration of the historic Michigan Central Station.
Ford was able to recreate the damaged Beaux Arts-style architectural elements that adorn the station’s windows and ceilings with precision detail using 3d scanning and reverse engineering. It is said that by using a 3D scanning services to make nearly 550 rosette and filigree replicas, the company could keep the building’s original style while making them much lighter.
Ford’s Interest in 3D Laser Scanning Services
Ford is known to have been interested in integrating 3D scanning services into its vehicle design and production workflow for some time now, having adopted an SLA 3 system in the late 1980s.
Ford, for example, uses a 3D laser scan for fluid flow visualization and wind tunnel testing, as well as the creation of jigs, fixtures, and end-use car parts, according to an interview with AMUG speaker Ellen Lee.
Ford has released CAD files that allow customers to use a 3D scanning service to print pickup truck accessories such as cup holders or phone mounts in one initiative, while in another, it has collaborated with HP to develop a method of recycling 3D scanning service waste into F-250 parts.
Ford’s Michigan Central Station revamp started in 2018 amid discussions on how a 3D scanning service could be used to help restore some of the elements that adorn its ceilings and large arched windows. Even though photos were initially used as a basis for replicas, it soon became clear that 3D scanning services were more viable than relying on what had been lost to time over the last century.
What followed were months of 3D laser scanning services throughout 2020, followed by a 3D printing phase at Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford Township, Michigan, which resulted in hundreds of replicas in 20 different variants.
In engineering, combining 3D scanning, printing, and reverse engineering is a tried-and-true recipe for restoring automobiles and buildings.
3D scanning service and printing have been deployed several times to renovate damaged architecture, with Prototek working with Opera to restore the Baptistery of Florence in 2020. It was decided to replace the deteriorated bronze doors of the nearly 900-year-old building with replicas made using the new technologies because of their vulnerability to the elements and pollution.
Scan the World has also established itself as an expert in the field of accurately reproducing historical art forms and artifacts. To create an “open-source museum” led by the community, the organization has spent the last eight years building a free database of over 20,000 printable artifacts captured by 3D scanning services.