Stratasys produces 3D printed parts for Radford’s Lotus sports car
Stratasys has announced its partnership with British auto bodybuilder Radford to produce more than 500 3D printed parts for the launch of the automotive design company’s Lotus Type 62-2 race car. Inspired by the classic 1960s Lotus racing car of the same name, Radford’s updated design also features components from Lotus’ Evora model as well as its supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine.
To produce the first two cars, more than 500 parts were 3D printed at Radford Studio, automotive design and engineering company Aria Group, and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. Using Stratasys’ GrabCAD Shop workflow software, the Radford team planned and tracked their 3D prints at five global locations, using a fleet of up to 20 different Stratasys 3D printers at once. The Stratasys line of printers included the F900, F770, Fortus 450mc, F370 and J55.
Using the various 3D printers allowed the team to produce parts like a large, strong composite firewall sandwich core, printed in two halves on the Stratasys F900 printer in ULTEM 1010 resin. The part was glued in one single piece, then wrapped in carbon fiber without the use of a draping tool. The firewall design included mounting features for interior speakers, a fuel filler bracket and the luggage compartment.
Additionally, exterior elements – such as the side mirror housings, radiator ducts and body vents – have been printed in FDM Nylon 12 carbon fiber and ASA materials. Many mounting brackets throughout the car were printed in FDM 12 CF nylon due to factors such as strength requirements, aggressive project schedule and complete design freedom.
“By integrating 3D printing technology into their shop, Radford have been able to bring automotive manufacturing of 1960s-style supercars into the 21st century with the high-end, hyper-custom styling and features that their customers expect from a vehicle of this caliber,” said Pat Carey, senior vice president of Stratasys. “It’s an extreme example of something we see every day in the automotive industry. Anyone investing in new vehicles wants a higher level of customization and 3D printing helps make that possible.