Lead Forensics

3D Scanning Speeds Motorsports Roll Cage Development

Jun 2, 2021 | 3D Scanning, Design, Development, Motorsport

Although a fascinating sport, motor racing is also a dangerous one due to crashes. This is why safety comes first.

The safest practice to minimise the risk of injury would be to put the driver in a suit of armour. Instead, a cage protects the driver from getting injured in the event of an impact. Made from approximately 40 meters of high-tensile steel, the roll cage plays a vital function: it enables the passenger cabin to stay in one piece, shielding the driver from severe danger.

Over the years, many mechanics, designers, and engineers have combined their expertise with technology in order to develop better roll cages. They are always looking to answer the following questions:

  • How can they develop a roll cage that is rigid enough to withstand crash impacts yet flexible enough to dissipate the energy away from the driver?
  • How can they design a roll cage that perfectly fits the vehicle chassis on the first try?
  • How can they create a roll cage that can be installed easily and efficiently within a few hours?

Car enthusiast Rob Parsons, managed to answer these questions with his CageKits approach. 3D scanning technology has helped him to develop a better design process that leads to a quality product that fits perfectly on the first try and offers better structural benefits to his customers.

How to Build a Solid Product Development Process

CageKits’s foundation is based on a solid product development process. Indeed, a 3D model is the starting point for every roll cage kit. The 3D model is obtained from 3D scanning the car’s full interior.

Once he has captured the 3D data, Rob uses a CAD design programme to create his unique roll cage kits. The design starts with the main hoop, followed by the diagonal braces and the harness bar. The front, roof, and rear bars are next. When everything looks good with all six mounting points, Rob focuses on the door bars, which vary depending on whether he is adding a lot of clearing for elbow room or a low-profile door bar. Finally, once he feels comfortable with the door bars and the whole roll cage shape, he completes the work with the base plates.

Thanks to the 3D model, Rob can make as many design iterations as he needs. He can also try different combinations to see what hits where and what interferes with what. This way, the roll cage is optimized for the body of the car in order to get the best possible protection.

The roll cage bars are then ready for manufacturing. They are CNC notched and bent before being shipped out to the customer. Roll cages come in a kit that must be assembled. To guide those who will weld the different bars together to form the cage, parts are laser-marked, and their finishing is neat and accurate.

Once assembled and installed, the most common comment from mechanics is how super tight the cage fits inside the car. They are also stunned by how easy the assembly unfolds and how fast the installation occurs, often regretting the time they have lost trying to build their own roll cages in the past.

(Excerpt from Metrology News. See the full article.) 

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The PES Scanning blog provides information and news on the scanning and engineering services we offer. The blog also includes views from our team and information about projects we’ve been working on.