Reverse engineering restores old classics to their former glory

Volkswagen T1 Transporter is cult classic. It not only conquered the hearts of Europeans but Americans as well by becoming one of the iconic symbols of the hippie movement in the 70s.

Despite years passing by the popularity of T1 Transporter didn’t drop. The German Classic is still a hit thanks to car enthusiasts, collectors and businesses that deal in restoring vehicles to their former glory. One such company is ‘Soul Cars’ which handles renovations of antique cars.

After many months of work, Soul Cars managed to buy an acceptable Volkswagen T1 Transporter. Unfortunately, it was inoperable and in need of a variety of repairs, including mechanical and bodywork. Among the elements awaiting bodywork repair was a center pillar or specifically B-pillar which separated the driver’s door from the back section of the car.

The company decided to retrieve the pillar B by using reverse engineering. Soul Cars engineers contacted SMARTTECH, a polish producer of optical 3D scanners dedicated to reverse engineering, quality control and rapid prototyping.

“Part was in such a poor technical condition that it did not perform its function,” explained Peter Wieczorek, SMARTTECH measurement specialist. “We had to remodel it to create a CAD file for further work”.

Thanks to the high accuracy of the measuring devices, SMARTTECH successfully reproduces the technical documentation in the form of a precise model. Today thanks to reverse engineering the restoration of old classic to their former glory is easier than ever before.

For a detailed case study describing the process of B-pillar reverse engineering, click on the link below.

Reverse engineering: process of recreating a car part
Optical measurement system: scan3D surface 5 MPix
Software: SMARTTECH3Dmeasure
Industry: automotive

Read the case study:


Read more about scan3D surface.
Read more about Soul Cars.

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