Sports Car Tail Light Lens Cover Part 1: 3D Model Creation

Join us on our four-week journey of taking a sports car lens for which there were no CAD files or prints through reverse engineering to develop CAD, the design and creation of a tool, part production, and finishing.


Reverse Engineer smoked Taillight Lenses for 2014-2018 Sports Car


3D Scan for Creation of Lens Covers


After parts were evaluated for the scanning process, it was determined that due to the number of undercuts, a reverse clay model was needed. After the clay model was finished, it was then painted a flat white and red registration marks were applied for the scanning process.

This model was then placed in a position so that the scanner could pick up the proper detail needed. The model was repositioned many times to take multiple scanning shots. All of these shots were then recorded in the scanning software.

After all scanning shots were taken, the scanning software was used to align the red registration marks to create a complete scanned project.


Once the scanned object has all of the scanned shots aligned it is then stitched together to form a triangle mesh. This mesh looked like the part that is needed, but it is not a useable model for manufacturing. A conversion process was needed that employs some different software.

We took this triangle mesh into our conversion software and started the process. Using this software, we first cleaned up the mesh, and because the mesh had thousands of small triangles, the triangles needed to be reduced in number and resized. Once this was completed, the conversion to a solid model can begin.

The conversion to a solid model began by stitching all scanned shots into one object. We then implemented specialized software in the conversion process. These steps were used for both sizes of parts to be molded. This software then created either a series of surfaces or a solid model that was then used in the design of the tooling for the manufacturing of the part.

Once the solid model had been produced, a 3D model or prints of the design could be made for customer approval and or development of tooling for the production of the parts.