3D Laser Scanning Used to Speed Up Team USA

3D laser scanning Getting the Team Ready

How many of you enjoyed sledding when you were a kid?  How many of you enjoyed sitting on one of those wooden sleds with the red blades having your mom or dad pull you around. Well, that was all for the kiddies. Now imagine strapping a rocket on the back and lighting the fuse! That’s about what it looks like when the Team USA gets on a luge toboggan and start racing down the hill. When they head down that track, they really move. I mean they zip! They can reach up to ninety-five miles per hour. It is an intense race. And when two toboggans are racing, it can come down to just milliseconds to determine a winner. For this reason, competing teams have to do whatever they can to get the tiniest edge over others. Just a fraction of a second can mean the difference between gold or silver. During the 2006 Winter Olympics, the US team used 3D laser scanning services to help their athletes train.

Refine the Design with 3D laser scanning

3D laser scanning services turned out to be a big advantage for the team to design the best sled that they could. It saved them a lot of time and money. Their goal was to test out different sled designs to see which ones had the best performance on the track.  Instead of having to make modifications to the actual sled and then run tests in an actual wind-tunnel, the team could just run tests on 3D models. Using 3D models allowed them to make virtual modifications to the sled and then test them virtually. This enabled the team to find the design that has the best fluid dynamics. Better design would give them a better chance to speed down that track just a little bit faster. That would make a big difference even if it mean’t just a fraction of a second faster.   

Put it to the test

In order to get the job done, they went to the experts at Direct Dimensions. They had the knowhow on using 3D models to test aerodynamics. So they had the Team USA Luge team come down to the company and get scanned by those experts at Direct Dimensions. They took scans of both the sleds and the racers to super-high precision using a scanner called a Minolta Vivid 910. Having captured all the data that they needed, they could then begin creating the virtual models of both sled and racer. They took these models and put them into a computer program that could calculate the fluid dynamics of a variety of modifications to the sled.  What a cool idea! This is really putting awesome ingenuity to real practical use. This makes me proud to be an American! Go USA!

The story isn’t over yet. The experts are getting a chance with every competition to get a better idea how new designs perform so that they can keep progressing. It also makes you wonder what other uses 3D laser scanning services can have for team USA in 2022.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

Leave a Comment