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Customising Cars with 3D Technology

3D scanning and 3D printing technologies lend themselves perfectly to creating bespoke vehicles. Parts that are required in small numbers, are difficult to obtain, no longer available or those that would otherwise require expensive tooling can be made far quicker and more cost effectively with 3D scanning and 3D printing technology. Recently, our automotive work has seen us produce end-use parts for bespoke GT4 racing cars and also making a range of parts for the more theatrical customisation of a Navistar-style military vehicle. The Navistar was used in the recent UK arena tour of Fast & Furious Live, which packed all the excitement of the movies into a stunt-filled live show.

We manufactured hundreds of intricate parts for the customised Navistar using 3D scanning, two of our 3D printers and our Large Volume CNC Machining Centre. The bespoke parts ranged from a mould for the bonnet to the grille, headlight trims, air inlet, rivets, bolts and badge.

It was important to ensure the parts we printed would be a perfect fit and could be incorporated seamlessly into the car as the customisation progressed. Our HandySCAN 700 portable scanner was used to scan the front end of the stripped-back chassis, enabling us to cross reference against the CAD drawings and ensure a good fit.

To adapt the headlight trims, we took the original surrounds and hand modelled the modifications with clay before 3D scanning. Our Fortus 900mc was used to print the headlight trims and the grille, the latter printed in two halves before being ABS welded together. Our HP MJF was used to print the multiple small components, for which we successfully trialled the method of printing in sheets. The vehicle was used in a high-octane stunt-filled touring production of ‘Fast and Furious’. If you fancy seeing the car in action, tickets for the shows are available on the Fast & Furious Live website.