Enginners use Faro scan arms to build 3D models of several components on the Bentley Blower cars. Teams used hand measuring tools, scanners, and early blueprints to create a complete digital file.
All photos courtesy of Bentley Motors

British luxury carmaker Bentley plans to produce 12 Bentley Blower vehicles, exact replicas of a famed 1929 racecar. Good luck finding the CAD files on those.

All 12 cars are already sold to collectors around the world, and the first stages of build for Bentley's own engineering prototype – Car Zero – will begin as soon as non-essential employees return to work.

A key step was creating a complete CAD model in Dassault Systèmes’ Catia software by inputting nearly century-old blueprint data and scanning components with Faro metrology scan arms.

Though more often used to check manufacturing quality, several major engineering projects have used Faro 3D scanners to generate technical specifications for pre-CAD-era designs. Aerospace maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) company Mission Support Inc., for example, used Faro scanners to convert blueprints, tooling data, and other paper-centric files into 3D computer images for the B-52 bomber, a plane that went into service in 1952.

Bentley Motors engineers developed a complete CAD rendering of a 1929 racecar for its Blower Continuation series of 12 recreations. Engineers used Dassault Systèmes Catia software for the design.

At Bentley, the Blower’s finished CAD model contains 630 components and 70 assemblies and is bigger than 2GB. Engineers spent more than 1,200 hours to complete the model from the scan data and hand measurements.

The detailed 3D model allows the 12 Blower buyers to spec colors and materials for their cars, sticking to the options available in 1929.

Bentley Motors https://www.bentleymotors.com

Dassault Systèmes https://www.3ds.com

Faro Technologies Inc. https://www.faro.com