How BAC is using the UltiMaker Ecosystem for Supercar Design and Production?

4 Mins read
  • Renowned British supercar manufacturer Briggs Automotive Company uses UltiMaker 3D printers to design and produce bespoke parts for its high-end sports cars
BAC is using the UltiMaker Ecosystem for Supercar Design and Production
BAC Mono R/Source: Briggs Automotive Company

Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) was founded in 2009 by two brothers with a passion for cars, Neill and Ian Briggs. Two years later, BAC revolutionised the automotive industry with the BAC Mono, the world’s first road-legal, single-seater supercar. Now, the company is turning to 3D printing and investing in the UltiMaker ecosystem for supercar design and production.

The brothers’ vision of a road vehicle that offers the most authentic and pure driving experience combined with the latest racing technology culminated in the BAC Mono. BAC has made significant improvements and upgraded the Mono over time. The Mono R has arrived. The Mono R, which can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, is a true testament to the capabilities of modern manufacturing techniques.

“We set out to produce a car that was about the sport of driving, driving as a leisure activity. From an inspiration point of view, we looked at science fiction, robots, things from the future. For people like us who enjoy driving, we wanted to focus on a futuristic look and feel.”

– Ian Briggs, Design Director and Co-founder of BAC

UltiMaker Ecosystem for Supercar Design

BAC Co-founder and design director Ian Briggs
BAC Co-founder and design director Ian Briggs/Source: Briggs Automotive Company

Always on the cutting edge of technological advancement, BAC serves as a breeding ground for the most cutting-edge innovations and ground-breaking concepts through its pioneering research and development projects.

To that end, BAC was a pioneer in 3D printing. Because the company designs and manufactures the Mono R for sports car enthusiasts and collectors, it produces bespoke parts in small batches. As a result, CNC machining or injection moulding were not required at this level of production.

Instead, for supercar design and production, the BAC team turned to the UltiMaker ecosystem. BAC has been able to produce fast and inexpensive highly customizable and high-quality parts thanks to the UltiMaker 3D printing ecosystem, resulting in significant improvements in design iterations, cost reductions, and overall manufacturing efficiency.

Briggs added, “In the early days when 3D printing was referred to as rapid prototyping, we didn’t really understand the implications as production parts. But now over 44 different parts of the car are 3D printed now—structural engine components, wing mirror supports, light surrounds. We’ve really embraced 3D printing and the design freedom it’s given us. The UltiMaker ecosystem allows us to bring all the different aspects of our production together to be constantly optimised and stored in one location.”

FFF 3D Printer
The Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle/Source: Ultimaker

BAC engineers exclusively use UltiMaker S5 3D printers, with three currently in use. BAC quickly creates and tests multiple design iterations, incorporating customer feedback or making functional requirements-based refinements. This iterative process allows for the development of highly customisable parts that are optimised for performance, ergonomics, and aesthetics. Because BAC has on-demand access to its printers, it can produce parts as needed, reducing the need for large inventories of pre-manufactured components.

Digital Factory

BAC can centralise and streamline its 3D printing operations by utilising the UltiMaker Digital Factory, from managing design iterations and print preparation to printing and post-processing. The team can store their digital files, as well as associated printing parameters, settings, and material specifications, in Digital Factory, ensuring consistency and repeatability across multiple printing instances. They can use remote access to check and control the printers on their production line, which run on demand 24 hours a day.

“The UltiMaker Digital Factory has made it possible to improve manufacturing processes for prototyping for production parts on BAC. For example, I can pre-slice print jobs and save them to the digital warehouse, which saves me a lot of time for future prints. Digital Factory also allows us to integrate the printers with our software, which allows me to remotely manage the printers, projects, and teams.”

– Thomas Tunstall, bodywork technician and 3D printing operator at BAC

Material Alliance Programme

The UltiMaker Material Alliance Programme has enabled BAC to select from a variety of industrial-grade materials that have been specifically tested, certified, and optimised for use with UltiMaker 3D printers. Because of this material versatility, BAC can choose the best material for each application. All 3D printed parts on the Mono R are made entirely of Addigy materials, including nylon carbon fibre for parts that require strong structural properties, such as the mirror arms that support the wing mirrors and take a lot of force, and the inlet runners from the air box.

Each Mono R vehicle is custom-made to the specifications of the customer. The seat, for example, is moulded to the driver, as are the steering wheel grips, the colour scheme of the car, and even the race suits are made to measure. Everything is custom, and BAC can print many of the parts on the BAC Mono R using 3D printing. Customers can even add their initials and licence plate numbers directly to the car and key fob.

BAC can leverage the power of 3D printing with local support from UltiMaker GB and a large network of resellers in the UK and Ireland. The team now has more design freedom to create complex geometries that would be difficult or impossible to produce using traditional manufacturing methods.

Briggs concluded by saying, “As a manufacturer first stepping into 3D printing, one of the things that was super important to us was having local support. It was a journey for us. The machines were new, the materials were new, learning to design the parts was new. We would have waited longer to do had we not had the local support. That was really fundamental in us adopting this technology.”

About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on Global 3D Printing News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. Follow us on Google News.

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Manufactur3D is an Indian Online 3D Printing Media Platform that reports on the latest news, insights and analysis from the Indian and the Global 3D Printing Industry.
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