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NVision Saves Misfit Industries Time and Money in Design of Custom Harley Parts
(Coppell, TX, April 2014) – NVision, Inc. helped Misfit Industries save considerable time and money bringing its new line of Harley Davidson custom parts to market. Misfit recently converted many of its parts from composites to aluminum and steel in order to reduce labor costs and production leadtime. NVision’s scanning and CAD modeling services helped Misfit reverse-engineer the previous generation parts, factory parts, and sections of the motorcycles that interface with the parts. The resulting computer aided design (CAD) models were then provided to the die maker, substantially compressing the design cycle. The reverse engineering process also ensured that each custom part interfaced seamlessly with previous and new generation Harley models.
Misfit Industries (Plano, Texas) provides parts for custom Harley Davidson touring models known as baggers. The company provides cutting-edge products engineered for a perfect fit that are used to create radical machines that turn heads and attract attention. In the past, the company built most of its parts by manually laying composite fibers on a mold, spreading resin over the fibers, etc. This was a very labor-intensive process that took 6 to 8 weeks to produce the first parts. Many customers did not want to wait this long for their parts. Image above shows Misfit Industries' Brennivin bags installed on the Sick CVO
“By switching to die cast steel and aluminum for these parts we have substantially reduced leadtime and production costs,” said Chris Eder, President of Misfit Industries. “However, making the change required that we re-design our entire product line. We needed precise CAD models of each of our parts to provide to the company that builds the dies. The CAD models were often not available. Using conventional engineering methods to create them would have been very expensive and time-consuming. We also ran the risk that the final parts might not fit perfectly, an unwelcome scenario that would have required expensive repairs to the dies.” What was needed was an efficient way to reverse-engineer the parts at minimal cost. Image left shows 3D rendering of Misfit Industries' Brennivin Real Steel Saddlebag Kit
Misfit contacted NVision, whose engineers performed laser scanning on the interfacing sections of the motorcycle and on the previous generation of parts. For example, to reverse-engineer and re-design the fenders NVision scanned a factory fender to identify the exact position of its mounting holes. They also scanned the wheel to derive its true horizontal and vertical radius. Next they scanned the previous generation Misfit fender in order to obtain its specific styling and geometry. Then the engineers converted the data produced by scanning into surface models. Finally, the three surface models were combined in an assembly, to create a new fender design that mated perfectly to the frame and matched the existing Misfit design.
“Our engineering team reviewed and polished the final designs and provided them to a supplier who built the dies to produce the parts,” Eder said. “The new parts provide a perfect fit and are considerably less expensive and time-consuming to manufacture than the previous generation. The key to success in this application was the use of NVision’s engineering services to quickly and accurately reverse-engineer the motorcycle, factory parts and our own previous generation parts. NVision gave us a superb job at a reasonable price in a very short period of time. Image right shows 3D rendering of 3/4 view of Misfit Industries' new Brennivin Real Steel Saddlebags