Slashing weeks off reverse engineering farm equipment with Artec Eva

Summary: A UK manufacturer of custom tractor headstocks needed to find a way to quickly yet precisely measure and reproduce their clients' legacy equipment.

The Goal: To use a handheld 3D scanner to scan an entire headstock in 20 minutes or less, then export the scan to SOLIDWORKS software to create a beautiful 3D model ready for production, thus reducing total project time by days if not weeks.

Tools Used: Artec Eva, SOLIDWORKS, Xtract3D

Taylor Attachments is a UK company that custom designs and produces tractor headstock conversion brackets. These are attachments for farm handlers and loaders, for mounting everything from buckets to forks, grapples, saws, carriers, bale stabbers, grabbers, hitches, backhoes, tillers, yard scrapers, and more. Clients also send them legacy equipment, which Taylor’s specialists precisely measure and reproduce using the latest materials and technology.

In the past at Taylor, this was a 100% manual process, which meant a busy 7-12 hours of making drawings using rulers and calipers, pens and pencils to trace out parts and components on cardboard and paper, before creating mock up prototypes for testing and secondary alterations.

The entire process entailed lots of cross-referencing and double-checking, and would take anywhere from 7 days up to 2-3 weeks for each part. That’s the industry average. And it’s an inaccurate process, requiring lots of fine-tuning before each product is ready to be shipped to the client’s doorstep.

Not that Taylor has much competition to speak of, but all of them are still using the old process described above or a similar workflow for their in-house manufacturing of replacement headstocks.

As for Taylor, they’ve since moved on to using a professional handheld 3D scanner, the Artec Eva, and it’s made a striking difference in their day-to-day workflow. Having had no previous experience with 3D scanners, they were introduced to Eva by the experienced professionals at Artec’s Gold-Certified Reseller Europac 3D, specialists in everything 3D, from software to printers to structured white light scanners such as Eva, known worldwide for its ability to easily capture medium-sized objects quickly and precisely.

 

In the words of Mark Taylor, “Eva has literally saved us days if not weeks of work, and that’s no exaggeration. Previously we were spending all that time creating prototypes to test, then that many more hours on alterations to reach the level of perfect, compared to now achieving perfection the first time, and every time, with Eva.”

All of Taylor’s replacement headstocks are designed in-house and sold both nationwide and abroad to leaders in agriculture and industry. Being able to minimize their turnaround time so dramatically has made a huge difference in both the volume of work they’ve been able to take on and manage, as well as maintaining the utmost levels of quality that they’ve been famous for.

Mark Taylor threw back the curtain to show us what their workflow looks like today, “Now with Eva, it takes only about 20 minutes to scan an entire headstock, then another 20 minutes to post process everything in Artec Studio, and after that the 3D model from Studio is sent over to our in-house design team. What they do is use the Xtract3D add-in for SOLIDWORKS to create a beautiful, highly-precise 3D model that's 100% ready for production.”

He continued, “After that, it’s immediately sent over to one of our laser cutting partners, all of whom work to the highest standards. What are we looking at in terms of individual project time with Eva? Everything from start to finish in less than 24 hours. That’s it. Compare that with the 7 days to 2-3 weeks it took us when we were doing it the old way. There’s simply no going back for us.”