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Marking the expansion of 3D modeling software to all engineers

Reverse Engineering Customer Success Story: Physical Digital

This is part 4 of a series we're doing on customer success stories. The first, second, and third posts are already available.

“We were awarded a project that was substantial enough and easy enough to look at doing the work ourselves and in doing that work, SpaceClaim paid for itself. That was a big advantage. It was literally overnight.”

— Daniel Lainchbury, Senior Applications Engineer, Physical Digital

Physical Digital Ltd Brings Reverse Engineering In House with ANSYS SpaceClaim

As an R&D engineer with McLaren Group, Tim Rapley was an integral part of the team that introduced high-quality, non-contact 3D scanning to the motorsport organization. His success in implementing the technology had him working extensively with suppliers, ultimately spending more time on the road than at home. 

After several years, he determined there was a significant opportunity to do the same kind of work as a service bureau. In 2005, he purchased his own scanning system –the only one employed by an independent bureau in the UK – and opened Physical Digital Ltd in his home county of Surrey. Soon, he was serving clients in nearly every manufacturing industry, with clients across the UK and beyond. 

Capturing Reverse Engineering Revenue

As the company grew, Rapley and Daniel Lainchbury, Senior Applications Engineer for Physical Digital, found that a large percentage of the company’s client requests included reverse engineering in addition to providing the scanned data. The company had been sending that work out to third parties, and it had an opportunity to bring reverse engineering in house if they found the right tools. Rapley had worked in CATIA™ and Lainchbury had experience with SolidWorks®, but they considered those systems too expensive or not well suited to working with scanned data.

After a review of several software options, SpaceClaim looked to be easy to use, required minimal training, and matched up well with the company’s needs. In 2012, a reverse engineering project came to Physical Digital that was both straightforward and large enough that Lainchbury took the leap, purchased SpaceClaim, and began working with it.

“The ability to play around for a couple of hours and then start to do the work, as opposed to having to train for a few weeks to learn the software, was a huge benefit,” says Lainchbury. “SpaceClaim paid for itself literally overnight. It was incredible, really.” 

Read the full case study

-Rebecca Dilthey, Senior Product Marketing Manager, SpaceClaim


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