Girl Gang Garage: Custom Car Rebuilds + 3D Scanning + 3D Printing

What do you get when you cross a 1961 Volvo PV544 retro-look car with a sleek 2019 Volvo S60 T8 Polestar Engineered sedan – and why would you ever do that?

You get a custom head-turner hybrid vehicle designed to get people talking, especially about women in automotive trades. That’s because this blended vehicle project is being disassembled, redesigned and rebuilt by an all-female team based at Girl Gang Garage in Phoenix Arizona.

Bogi Lateiner and Shawnda Williams, co-owners of Girl Gang Garage, stand next to the stripped-down body of a 1961 Volvo PV544 that will soon be retrofitted on the chassis of a brand-new 2019 Volvo S60 T8 Polestar Engineered sedan. The rebuild project provides a rare hands-on learning opportunity for women of all ages and skill levels, from around the U.S., to come and learn (or improve) skills in welding, cutting, transmission work, body repair/painting, electronics, upholstery and more. (Image courtesy Girl Gang Garage.)

Girl Gang Garage founder and co-owner, Bogi Lateiner, TV host of Motortrend’s All Girls Garage and Garage Squad shows, is well on the way to transforming these vehicles as the third major public project she has undertaken. Along with co-owner Shawnda Williams, Lateiner offers women of all ages, experiences and skill levels the chance to lend a hand, learn a tool, and possibly discover a new career-path in the automotive trades.

The front showroom of Girl Gang Garage (Phoenix AZ). At the left is the group’s second all-female build dubbed High Yellow 56, displayed at the 2019 SEMA Show. Partially hidden in the center is the first (2017) Girl Gang build, the Chevy Montage with its BMW engine, and at the right is the early-stage PV544 rebuild slated for showing at the 2021 SEMA Show. (Image courtesy PADT Inc.)

Lateiner and Williams apply well-honed old-school skills but have been increasingly interested in the possibilities offered by today’s digital workflow. That’s why early in 2021, after conversations with the fellow re-build team at Kindig-It Custom Car Fabrication, Lateiner reached out to Stratasys to see how they might work together to incorporate 3D printing in the PV544 project.

At Stratasys, Pat Carey, Senior Vice President Americas Products & Solutions, and Allen Kreemer, Senior Strategic Applications Engineer, were immediately onboard with the chance to help Girl Gang Garage move into the digital world while widening their circle of women with automotive skills and interests. They loaned the team an F370 FDM 3D printer and accompanying support-removal SCA tank and offered to supply filament material for a two year try-whatever-you-want time period. Moreover, they pulled together a volunteer team of women across the country who could support the effort on multiple fronts.

Every 3D printer looks better with a cool scooter in front: the Stratasys F370 FDM printer, installed at Girl Gang Garage. (Image courtesy PADT Inc.)

A Virtual Team and a Digital Workflow

The team includes engineers whose day-time jobs have them working at Stratasys, Link3D, Autodesk, Xerox, Collins Aerospace and Ford Motor Company or as independent consultants. Printer installation and local support is handled by PADT Inc, a Stratasys reseller and 3D printing/design/simulation company located just 16 miles away from Girl Gang Garage. In addition, members of Women in 3D Printing offered to coordinate many of the publicity efforts and even sponsor a related design competition targeted at young women in high schools and colleges who are learning CAD skills. (More on that to come.)

During the first few Zoom meetings that introduced Lateiner and Williams to the technical capabilities of the different team members and the printer, the basic rebuild plan was presented: strip the PV544 down to bare metal (removing every mechanical and electrical component), disassemble the S60 down to the chassis, engine, drive-train and hybrid motor system, and figure out how to make the two sections fit!

Traditionally, that workflow depended strictly on the classic tools of the trade, from cutting wheels and a Sawzall to hand-grinders and pneumatic drills. Those components are still coming into play on the current project under the skilled eye of the Girl Gang Garage leaders, but now complementary digital processes are being added.

It Starts with Scanning

Using the GOM Tscan Hawk hand-held 3D laser-line scanner to digitally capture reference points, surface curvature and details on the PV544 body. (Image courtesy PADT Inc.)

PADT recently became a reseller of GOM 3D scanning hardware and software tools, and the timing was perfect to bring the new handheld Tscan Hawk system on-site. Operating with both red-line and blue-line (different wavelength) laser scanners plus stereo cameras, the Tscan Hawk captures millions of spatial 3D-point-coordinates (termed clouds of data) which are converted into a standard STL mesh file format for several end-purposes. The red lasers generate measurements across medium to large surfaces while the blue-wavelength sensors capture fine detail, with accuracy down to 20 microns.

GOM Inspect software records reference points, captures the individual coordinate data and allows interrogation of that data to provide dimensions, such as the distance between the engine frame mounts or the diameter of the hole into which the headlamp fits.

 (Images courtesy PADT Inc.)

These three images show a) the reference-point data that appears on the laptop screen as the shape of the PV544 vehicle’s underside is captured, b) the completed scan showing the 3D details of the as-built sheet metal and c) a report page from GOM Inspect software with dozens of dimensions extracted from the scan, such as the length of the trunk opening and the width of the opening available for the engine mount. The scan data, if exported as an STL file, could be sent directly to a 3D printer – though for this project the team is not printing the full body. Instead, subsets of the scan are being used for reverse engineering, where the data works as the basis for creative design elements to be printed and perhaps painted or plated.

To do so, the scanned data is be brought into a surfacing package such as Geomagic Design X or Innovmetric PolyWorks. Those software tools let users convert the STL mesh into an IGES surface, which can then be brought into a CAD package as the basis for a new solid model.

Not for the real build but as a fun example, here is a possible headlight-rim with the letters “Girl Gang Garage” cut out as a circular repeat pattern, that could be backlit with LEDS to customize the build. The design and dimensions are based on the maximum inscribed circle fitted by the GOM Inspect software inside the given opening. (In future blog posts, we’ll show examples of the CAD team’s actual 3D printing results.)

Scanning has many other purposes and capabilities. If CAD data were available for the actual vehicle, those files could be imported, overlaid on the captured data, and compared, alerting the user to deviations between intended and actual dimensions – a very common use of GOM Inspect software.

Next Steps

Every Thursday through Sunday, volunteer women come to Girl Gang Garage and learn to use cutting tools, welders, sanders and more, making daily progress toward the completed hybrid PV544. (All women are invited to come help and learn, at no cost – just sign up to get involved and get yourself to Phoenix.) Here are a few glimpses into the work as of early April – much more has been done but stay tuned for the next blog post as we show off elements of the S60 sedan, scan data being used for reference, and details of the design contest.

Views of the PV544 Volvo with work underway on a rear fender (also shown as scan data from the Tscan Hawk, with Bogi Lateiner in her Girl Gang Garage location). (Images courtesy PADT Inc.)

PADT Inc. is a globally recognized provider of Numerical Simulation, Product Development and 3D Printing products and services. For more information on Stratasys printers and materials, contact us at info@padtinc.com.

Press Release: Innovative GOM and ZEISS 3D Scanning Solutions Added to PADT Portfolio as it Joins the #HandsOnMetrology Digital Platform Global Network

The new combined offerings are being called #HandsOnMetrology. Someone must of let an engineer into the branding meeting because the new name is a perfect description of what the product line offers. Right now we are reselling three scanners and the outstanding software package that enables the unique advantages of each system:

When ZEISS and GOM joined forces, it was hard on our sales team here at PADT. We wanted to let our customers know about the significant advantages of the merger. After selling ZEISS Optical systems for many years, we knew that more and more customers wanted the flexibility of more handheld solutions along with laser scanning for larger objects. With the addition of the GOM line, we can now meet those needs.

GOM Scan 1: Compact, mobile, vesatile
T-SCAN hawk: Portable, versatile and handheld
T-SCAN: Fast, intuitive and highly precise
GOM Inspect Software: All-inclusive and user-centered

You can learn more about these tools on our new #HandsOnMetrology page or by contacting PADT today. Remember, we are more than a reseller, we use these same tools in our consulting business, so we have real-world experience on how to apply and leverage this technology. You might say that PADT even has “hands on” experience with these tools.

Access the offical press release here or as a PDF here, or you can read it below.


Press Release:

Innovative GOM and ZEISS 3D Scanning Solutions Added to PADT Portfolio as it Joins the #HandsOnMetrology Digital Platform Global Network

PADT is Now Selling the Three Leading GOM and ZEISS Optical and Laser Scanning Systems Throughout the Mountain and Southwest States

TEMPE, Ariz., May 11, 2021 PADT, a globally recognized provider of numerical simulation, product development, and 3D printing products and services, today announced it has joined #HandsOnMetrology, a digital platform dedicated to 3D metrology. Created after the merger of GOM and ZEISS, HandsOnMetrology consists of a unique, global network of companies selling leading 3D scanning products. As a part of this exclusive network, PADT now offers three high-end optical and laser 3D scanning systems, the T-SCAN, T-SCAN hawk, and GOM Scan 1.

“The HandsOnMetrology systems are the most precise and flexible scanners on the market,” said Ward Rand, co-founder and principal, PADT. “We are pleased to be expanding our product offerings, as well as providing scanning services to our customers. Specifically, the systems enhance our simulation services by allowing us to scan existing parts that can be simulated, or scan parts after testing for verification of simulation. It also supports our additive manufacturing activities by providing a simple-to-use and cost-effective way to reverse engineer older parts and inspect 3D Printed parts.”

The portfolio of HandsOnMetrology systems focuses on new to market hand-held measuring systems. The scanners are characterized by their precise measuring results and allow for mobile and flexible use around the shop floor. The industry-standard software GOM Inspect Suite is pre-installed on all three systems and supports users during inspections and analyses. It also walks users through the entire workflow from 3D scanning to the evaluation, including the inspection report.

PADT is selling the scanners and accompanying software across Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. The systems allow PADT and its customers to address a variety of 3D scanning processes including reverse engineering, art, architecture, inspection, quality, and control. The company is also providing support and training to help customers get real work done quickly and accurately.

“In addition to our ability to sell this innovative lineup of scanners, PADT and our customers will gain access to a network of resources through HandsOnMetrology,” said Jim Sanford, vice president, Sales and Support, PADT. “By teaming with these industry leaders, PADT can support our community of designers, technicians, engineers, scientists, and specialists with valuable knowledge to increase product quality, optimize processes and expand possibilities. It is the perfect complement to our long-term position as Ansys Elite, Stratasys Platinum  and EOS Channel Partners.”

To learn more about PADT and its new lineup of #HandsOnMetrology 3D scanning systems and software, please visit www.padtinc.com.

About PADT

PADT is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long-term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.” With over 90 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Torrance, California, Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.

About #HandsOnMetrology

#HandsOnMetrology is a new global 3D scanning network and provides a digital go-to for everything you always wanted to know about 3D scanning on the platform HandsOnMetrology.com. The platform is operated by GOM, a ZEISS company, that sets new standards in optical 3D metrology. From step-by-step setup instructions to more advanced tutorials and expert hacks: the platform is made for learning and for getting inspired. It gives users all the information they need to deliver 3D scanning excellence. HandsOnMetrology.com supports the community of designers, technicians, engineers, scientists and specialists with valuable knowledge to increase product quality, optimize processes and expand possibilities.

About GOM GmbH

GOM, a company of the ZEISS Group, specializes in industrial 3D coordinate measuring technology, 3D computed tomography and 3D testing. From product development to production and worldwide distribution, GOM offers machines and systems for manual and automated 3D digitizing, evaluation software, training and professional support from a single source. In industries such as automotive, aerospace, energy and consumer goods, more than 17,000 GOM system installations are in use internationally. At more than 60 locations and with more than 1,200 metrology specialists, GOM guarantees profound advice and first-class service. Since mid-2019, GOM has been a part of the ZEISS Group and has formed the Center of Excellence for optical metrology. With more than 31,000 employees in 50 countries and annual revenue totaling more than 6.4 billion euros, ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. (Status: September 30, 2019)

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