With the right tools and the right dose of technology, it’s possible to renew the passion for scale models. You read that right—what was a popular crafting hobby in the latter half of the 20th century just got a total makeover in this scanning-meets-reverse engineering endeavour. Indeed, peel 3d took part in an awesome project that consisted in making a scaled-down replica of the Peel P50 car, famous three-wheeler manufactured by the Peel Engineering Company on the Isle of Man in the 1960s.


peel 3d had to circumvent the outsourcing of critical processes, and the use of traditional measuring and manufacturing instruments to acquire dimensional data, and find a means to build the scaled-down, 1:16 replica of the Peel P50.

And so, Creaform Engineering lent a useful hand midway through the journey when it came time to reverse engineer the scans of the Peel P50. And that included everything from the chassis to the suspension, and on to the steering system and body.

Peel P50 vehicle that was scanned


The story starts with peel 3d’s wild idea of highlighting the wide range of 3D scanning applications, namely in scaling down an entire car.

They asked their UK distributor Solid Print3D to find and scan a Peel P50 using the peel 3 scanner, and they forwarded the scan data to Creaform Engineering. The latter, in turn, processed the data using the CATIA V5 software (via surface recognition, assembly construction, and surface and volume modules) to reverse engineer the vehicle and create 3D models based on each individual set of parts.

Scanning of Peel P50 vehicle parts

Since the decision had been made to use 3D printing as the main manufacturing method, the project took an even more interesting turn when Creaform Engineering took the liberty of writing and attaching a thorough, convenient assembly guide to support the building of the car and the handling of the numerous detachable parts by the end user.

Click here to download your 3D model and assembly guide of the Peel P50 car

The last step in this venture was to send over the 3D models and accompanying guide to Formlabs’s European headquarters in Berlin for 3D printing, cleaning, finishing and assembly. What a blast!

3D Models sent to Formlabs

3D printed pieces ready for assembly!


Referring to this project as being an “exact” replica of the P50 would be a misnomer since Creaform Engineering had to adapt geometries and remove a few details that would not be visible to the naked eye given the smaller scale.

  • Tenons and mortises were added to the vehicle’s scaled-down body to locate the detachable parts.
  • The steering wheel was not part of the 3D models to be printed for its diameter was too small.
  • A few original components could not be scanned on the spot, so Creaform Engineering had to refer to other visual supports and improvise shapes based on the surrounding geometries.
  • And so on.

Scanned components in CATIA V5 software

To honour the original design of the P50, peel 3d and Creaform Engineering reached several compromises that resulted in a remarkable, satisfactory result!

Bottom line, nothing is impossible when surrounded by the right people, and armed with the right tools. peel 3d can now showcase their scanning, modeling and designing capabilities using this outlandish, fun and eye-catching project.

Peel P50 final model after printing and assembly!