Stratasys Company manufactures over 500 3D-printed parts for the launch of the renewed Lotus Type 62-2, the legendary racecar. The car is being build by Radford, a global luxury automotive brand and is documented for the Discovery+ show that tells the story of the revival of the art of coachbuilding using technology for the 21st century. The project is led by the car builder and host Ant Anstead and former Formula One champion racecar driver Jenson Button, current owner of Radford Company.
Lotus Cars was a British automotive company that won the Formula One World Championship seven times, and is currently owned by Chinese multinational Geely. In the renewed version, only 62 units were created. The company turned to Stratasys to assist in building the cars for two major reasons: Create a car of less than 1,000Kg and provide the option of producing personalized parts for each client. Ansted: “Stratasys’ 3D printing technology gave us the design freedom and ability to easily create customized, one-off pieces and parts for these two prototype vehicles”.
Within current project, Radford utilizes Stratasys FDM®, PolyJet™, and stereolithography 3D printing technologies. The parts are designed using Stratasys’ GrabCAD Shop™ workflow software. As of today, two cars were built with over 500 3D-parts, using a fleet of up to 20 different Stratasys 3D printers at one time in five different global sites. For Stratasys – it was a genuine demonstration of distributed manufacturing. Among the printed parts were complex mounting features for interior speakers, a fuel filler mount and for the luggage compartment, side mirror housings, radiator ducts, body vents and more.
In the project, several industrial printers were used – F900®, F770™, Fortus 450mc™, F370® and J55™ 3D printers, each used to achieve different desired outcomes for each part. Among other, they were used to create large solid composite firewall sandwich core inside the car which provides passenger protection in case of fire. The automotive industry is a focal target market of Stratasys, and several customers demonstrated already how 3d printers are incorporated in this industry. For example, the Malaysian Solidify Company manufactures silicon rubber moldings that are used for a European automotive client whose car had gone out of production, but still required spare part supplies.
The Italian Skorpion Engineering Company is famous as a pioneer in advanced automotive prototypes and subsystems for luxury brands. Today, the company depends on its arsenal of Stratasys PolyJet and FDM 3D printers.
Canadian Solaxis Company uses Stratasys’ technology to print handles and other accessories that are used to compose car doors in mass production lines. The Spanish-Italian automotive design studio Italdesign purchased the Stratasys J750 printer, through which it manufactures the complete interior parts of the DaVinci concept car that was built to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo DaVinci. Continental Company, a leading provider of car components, integrated the Stratasys Fortus 450mc printer in its production line, in order to mass-produce replacement production tools and parts.