Scanning the Nissan 370Z

We are extremely excited to kick off the Nissan 370Z project with the initial phase of digital 3D scanning of the dashboard surface, inner structure and trim pieces.  While this may seem like a simple process of pointing a scanner at the dashboard and pulling a trigger, it is much more complex (a 7 hour process) and you want to make sure you get it done right the first time.

As with all our 3D scanning projects the first step is to get into the car and apply all the target stickers.  These stickers give the scanner a frame of reference of where the parts are in 3D space.  First was going through the interior fully intact to ensure we have a scan of the factory fit to overlay over everything when we are done to ensure as much of an OEM fit as possible.

Next is pulling all the trim pieces out of the center dashboard to understand how everything goes together.  We need to fully understand this process to make sure that the replacement pieces install in the same order and work with all of the interlocking, overlapping and integrated pieces.

After all of the pieces are removed, more target stickers are placed all around the internals of the dashboard.  This will give us a 3D model of all the inner workings of the dashboard to understand any mounting points and how much space we have to work with inside the cavity of the dashboard.

Then the tedious process of scanning the surfaces begin.  The process is almost like a digital airbrush where the scanner is worked back and forth across the surface of the parts and bit-by-bit filling in the 3D model in the computer in its absolute raw form, accurate down to the width of a human hair.

Once all of the inner workings of the dashboard are complete it is time to place target stickers all over the backside of each of the dash trim pieces that we removed such as the climate control, radio, outer bezel and upper “cubby”.  We need to get super accurate scans of these pieces to ensure that the plastics that we create have exactly the same connection points, diameters etc.

This makes it so that you can simply remove your stock pieces, bolt the climate control unit to the back of our plastics, snap in the tablet and you are good to go 🙂

Figuring out exactly how we integrate the lower climate controls into our plastics, a rear cradle to securely hold the tablet so that it feels solid and integrate a front cover that fits perfectly with the surrounding trim is always a challenge, but we have our planned approach and are ready to rock.

Stay tuned for some updates on the next steps of digital modelling 🙂

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