Case Study: 3D Scanning Enables Capture of Turbine Blade Contract

A turbine blade manufacturer proposed supplying blades for a prospects turboprop engine. They believed they had a competitive advantage with a lower cost. The prospect gave the turbine blade manufacturer a set of five unique blades and asked for a bid with samples.

3d scan aircraft engine
Turboprop Engine

The Problem: No CAD data was available for the turbine blades

A turbine blade manufacturer proposed supplying blades for a prospects turboprop engine. They believed they had a competitive advantage with a lower cost. The prospect gave the turbine blade manufacturer a set of five unique blades and asked for a bid with samples.

The Challenge: The blades are of a complex geometric design

the blades are of a complex geometric design. The standard way to capture the design data is to use a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). But it would take weeks to obtain the blade surface design and generate the CAD data. The time frame would be unacceptable and the process expensive.

The solution: 3D Scanning was used to accurately map the surface of the blades

A 3D Scanning service used a Konica Minolta VIVID 9i scanner to map the five unique turbine blades. Accuracy of the data was within .002 inches. Time taken to obtain the point data with the 3D scanner to produce the CAD data was less than half of what it would have been utilizing the CMM process. The 3D scanning solution also included inspection reports for the sample pieces.

The Result: Cast turbine blade samples accurately made in record time

  • The time and expense savings using 3D Scanning was less than half of what it would’ve taken for the CMM process.
  • Sample blades conformed to ISO 9000 requirements.
  • The important thing is, The manufacturer won the contract to supply the turbine blades.