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1959 Corvette Bumper


We took on this 1959 Corvette bumper reverse engineering project. Using this particular method, the procedures involved in the original product don’t have to be known in order to analyze the end product, making this quite a convenient resource!

Here is the original scanned part. It was scanned and then modified to create usable surfaces.

As with most scans, they are not directly usable for the end product; they are used only as a guide to duplicate the part. Doug Graf, owner of Classic Reflection Coachworks, decided that it needed more clearance for the tail pipe because of the heat since it was to made of carbon fiber.

Halfway through the project, Doug wanted to see how it fit on the newly scanned body. It was a bit of a mismatch, so he decided that a new bumper was necessary. As you can see below, it’s not a very good fit. The original installation on a 1959 ‘Vette was reviewed as well and surprisingly, it wasn’t found to be much better.

Take a look at what the misaligned bumper evolved into in this image below. As you can see, the bumper now aligns with the body.

Frankly, the job was quite a challenge. Besides the increase in height, the outline of the shape had to be completely revised! This became a sculpturing job, and the program being used just couldn’t create the required tangencies. As you can see below, there are a number of flaws, that in the industry we call “Butt Cracks”. Again, this could simply not be corrected with the tools that were available.

Asking Amanda Koh to help out with these projects turned out to be the answer. As a Class A Digital Sculptor with more than 13 years in automotive and aviation design using Alias, perhaps she could shed some light on this issue.

As you can see below, we now have a perfect part.

Let’s take a look at another example below.

Here’s the revised part prior to the Alias work over

…and here’s what Alias could do:

Here we have the final bumper! Perfection!!

Final Bumpers Installed!


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We can do your reverse engineering projects plus most any form of mechanical design. Please visit our Services Page for more information.

We have added complete plastic part design, 3D printing, mold design and manufacturing. Thereby giving you a one stop shop assuring your parts are done with the highest level of productivity and quality. There are many times you go to a designer and then to the mold designer and you have to go back and forth between the two until they get the part right wasting time and increasing the cost of the project by not having one group having the total responsibility.

We have a staff of great industrial designers, product designers, mold designer and a manufacturing plant that assures that the parts will be done correctly.

To accomplish the above project would require ZW3D Standard, that includes freeform Class-A surfacing plus robust reverse engineering capabilities.  I was using CADKEY at the time and it did not have the surfacing tools to make it happen.

ZW3D Lite rentals starts at $800.00 per year ZW3D Standard is $1,200.00. That is $100 per month. Compare to Inventor that goes for around $300 per month and does not provide the flexibility of ZW3D without expensive add-ons.

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Other reverse engineering jobs.

This is another reverse engineering job based on scanning the parts.

Firecreek Accessories
Windbenders for HD Electra Glide

Not all reverse engineering jobs can be scanned. Look how we recreated the doors for the Seattle Monorail.

A Study in Murphy's Law
and Reverse Engineering!


This job also utilized scanned data. It was done with new very robust reverse engineer functionality added to ZW3D 2015. 

Reverse Engineering 2015 - AK-47 Project

  Original Scanned data In ZW3D                            Final 3D Models in IronCAD

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If you are interested in adding professional hybrid modeling capabilities or looking for a new solution to increase your productivity, give me a call and I will send you a link to download a fully functional 30 day evaluation and a starters guide. Play with these packages awhile, then give me a call if you have any questions or would like an on-line presentation.


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