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DAX Sports Cars has been producing DAX 427 replicas for over thirty years. The cars are plainly gorgeous, and meticulously detailed. They have continued to develop the chassis over time. DAX has sold over 4000 kits, and they also offer completely finished vehicles for those who prefer their cars pre-made without the worry of a loose part.
Using Siemens PLM Software’s leading Computer Aided Design solutions (CAD), Solid Edge and NX, combined with the assistance of Physical Digital, specialists in 3D scanning and reverse engineering, the team at Majenta PLM joined forces with DAX Sports Cars to scan and reverse engineer a DAX 427.
Mark Parry, Managing Director, Majenta PLM commented: “This is a really exciting partnership for Majenta PLM and one that I believe will truly inspire kit car manufacturers and fanatics alike. We have provided DAX Sports Cars with a new lease of life through the use of CAD software and are reinventing the company’s design and manufacturing processes. The DAX replicas are known to be the best in the industry, but need to adapt to keep ahead of the competition through innovation and the continuous introduction of new upgrades and products.”
He continues: “We recognised DAX’s need for CAD software during the designing and manufacturing of their sports cars. Without the use of our CAD software and support, DAX would have previously spent a considerable amount of time producing 2D designs by hand. Our partnership will enable DAX to provide their customers with a much faster, efficient service and they will be able to offer their customers more choice than ever before.”
Mark explains reverse engineering by saying: “reverse engineering enables our customers to capture previous designs and engineer them in the CAD system. It is then possible to quickly design and test virtually, reducing the need for expensive and time-consuming models. Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) is used to test for mechanical stress, air flow, and heat dissipation for optimal design, whilst Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is used to manufacture with the latest machining and send 3D data to suppliers to manufacture. Although reverse engineering is a design manufacturing process, the relationship with reverse engineering truly pulls the real ‘physical’ world and ‘virtual’ designs together.”
Majenta help companies like DAX adopt the latest CAD technology to better visualise the final product, offer greater accuracy, provide more robust documentation of the design – including geometries and dimensions – and a Bill Of Materials (BOM). This will considerably reduce the time it takes to re-create kit car models and parts.
Majenta PLM initially visited the DAX workshop to collect a full car BOM and all existing 2D drawings of manufactured parts. The original 2D drawings were then redesigned using Siemens Solid Edge software, supported by Majenta PLM, to turn them into 3D CAD data. Physical Digital then scanned the major body parts.
Once scanned, the bodywork – including body, doors, bonnet, boot and coupe roof – was reverse engineered by Physical Digital design engineers into the CAD system. This allowed the team to make use of A-class surfacing technology to produce a complete and accurate solid 3D model of the car. Attention then turned to the inner workings. Again the team used the scanned data of all the parts beneath the bodywork to complete the mechanical workings.
Simon Johns, Director of DAX Sports Cars, commented: “This collaboration is a landmark moment in the kit car industry. We were the first UK manufacturer in the UK to produce a DAX 427 replica back in 1983 and now we’re the first kit car manufacturer to adopt CAD/CAM/CAE software to assist with the design and manufacturing of our cars. We wanted to change all of the past concepts of the kit car industry and innovate, not just ourselves, but hopefully the whole industry as well. As a result, our cars will benefit from increased quality through build and fit. The software and support provided by Majenta PLM enables design, manufacturing and analysis to take place together, which in turn enables us to carry out a full analysis, create custom designs and provides our customers with the option to see their car in a virtual 3D environment prior to purchasing it – giving us a unique selling proposition in today’s kit car market.”
Simon elaborates further: “The ability to interact with your design on a computer screen is incredible. Being able to manipulate designs at any stage during the design process is a key advantage as this allows us to save a substantial amount of time, and provides revisions quickly and efficiently to our customers. Our partnership with Majenta PLM also enables us to increase our portfolio of cars to choose from and deliver virtual build options so the customer can now specify their fit options, parts and colours. In addition, the use of 3D CAD and reverse engineering has allowed us to do away with the worry of locating parts and their specifications as they are stored right on the system, we can then send this to our suppliers. This now saves us time, and most importantly money that we can invest in securing our operations and ensuring the DAX 427 stays timeless.”
Simon finished by saying: “We’re so pleased with the progress so far and can’t wait to start virtually testing modifications etc. From jigs, cars, parts, and old drawing files we have been able to fully rebuild the car in the CAD system very quickly – something we initially thought was impossible or too expensive.”