In the 2019-2020 financial year, no less than 449 million train journeys were recorded in the UK.

And although the pandemic reduced the number of passengers, trains remain the best and most-eco-friendly means of transportation. Here at T3DMC we work extensively within the railway industry with manufacturers, providing 3D scanning for product development and quality control for components and moulds.

Rail transport components are usually sizeable with many curved surfaces. Traditionally, measurement of very large railway components was time-consuming and not particularly accurate. Nowadays however, thanks to 3D scanning systems available on the market the problem of low-quality, low-efficiency can be easily overcome.

3D Scanning for Railway | The 3D Measurement Company

Detection of structural castings for train chassis

The structural casting for a train chassis is about 1200mm long, 600mm wide and 400mm high, and has a central platform supported by 6 cones. The casting has a medium-to-large size, multiple curved surfaces and angles. The diameters of different cross-sections of the six cones, the number of degrees of each angle, and the length and width of the central platform should be measured in order to provide data for subsequent processing.

To meet these needs of the engineering design process, we use the latest in 3D systems scan devices such as the KSCAN, which covers scanning area as large as 1440 mm x 860 mm per single shot and has a scanning speed of 1,350,000 measurements/second. These capabilities ensure the real-time scanning  of medium to large sized components, reducing the duration of scanning and data processing to less than half an hour. This is an enormous benefit for reverse engineering and rapid prototyping project work.

Railway Construction | 3D Scanning in Railway Construction

Locomotive manufacturing challenges

Mould making is one of the key procedures in metro train manufacturing. Metro locomotive manufacturing can be largely divided into the following procedures: design mould development manufacturing assembly. Metro train manufacturers need to perform 3D scanning over locomotive mould to achieve 3D measurement data, and then compared the data with original digital analog to calculate potential deviation values and thus increase product accuracy.

Due to the bulkiness of a locomotive mould, it is very difficult to ensure scan process accuracy when using ordinary 3D scanners. As a problem-solving company, we offer handheld 3D scanner systems with high resolution capabilities, as well as our unparalleled mechanical engineering expertise.

Our systems are ideal for high-precision measurement of geometric sizes for large-sized workpieces and manufacturing equipment, which can be coupled with Scantech 3D detection device in operation. Lightweight and easy to use, our scanners offer great portability whilst delivering a volumetric accuracy of 0.015mm/m. The system can easily cope with the measurement of ultra large-sized components and significantly increase measurement accuracy.

Compared with moulds, the 3D detection of metro locomotives poses more stringent requirements after they are manufactured. Questions like whether the overall error falls within the limit of design, whether the mounting holes of locomotive windows or doors are compliant with standards, are closely related to the safety and stable operations of metro trains.

Photogrammetry in 3D Scanning | T3DMC

To further improve our customers’ 3D scanning process, we also offer a solution consisting of a handheld 3D scanner and the MSCAN global photogrammetric measurement system. First, the MSCAN global photogrammetric measurement system is applied to obtain spacial positioning points of the locomotive. Then, the handheld laser scanner is deployed to obtain 3D data. Finally, the derived 3D model data is compared with the digital analogy of the locomotive and the quantity of deformation is calculated for later product improvement.

Today, 3D scanning is being widely used in the quality test of components, parts and moulds of metro and conventional trains. Undoubtedly, 3D scanning also plays a crucial role in other aspects of railway transport, such as structural section test of metro tunnels and automatic test of railway tracks. 3D scanning provides accurate, rich data resources for various genres, from deviation correction, virtual assembly to repeatable analysis, traceability, during the development and manufacturing of rail transport.

To discuss your own requirements, get in touch with the team today or call 01746 762251.