Radford Motors, a British luxury automotive brand, is reviving art of coachbuilding using technology for the 21st century. And Discovery+ is telling this story through its new show Radford Returns. For this revival, Radford Motors has partnered with Stratasys to build the Lotus Type 62-2 Sports Car which will have 500 3D printed car parts.
Ant Anstead English television presenter, motor specialist, car builder and host of Radford Returns show expressed, “When relaunching Radford we set out to only work with world-class companies. Lotus is a world-class company, Radford is a world-class company, so when we looked to 3D printed car parts, we looked to Stratasys.”
500 3D Printed Car Parts
Radford Returns show will feature Ant Anstead and Jenson Button, the former Formula One champion race car driver. This show will document the build of the retro-modern Lotus Type 62-2 supercar. This involves the use of 500 3D printed car parts. It’s a perfect set-up for cutting edge uses of 3D printing. Viewers get an inside look at the process from designing to prototyping, tooling, and finally producing production parts utilizing Stratasys FDM®, PolyJet™, and stereolithography 3D printing technologies.
“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. It gave us the ability to fully embrace customized coachbuilding but with updated processes using 21st century technologies.”– Ant Anstead, English television presenter, motor specialist and car builder
To produce the first two cars, over 500 parts were 3D-printed at the Radford Studio, automotive design and engineering firm Aria Group, and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. Using Stratasys’ GrabCAD Shop™ workflow software, the Radford team scheduled and tracked their 3D prints across five global locations, using a fleet of up to 20 different Stratasys 3D printers at one time – a true demonstration of distributed manufacturing. The array of Stratasys printers included the F900®, F770™, Fortus 450mc™, F370® and J55™ 3D printers, each used to achieve different desired outcomes for each part.
“By integrating 3D printing technology into their shop, Radford has been able to bring 1960’s-style supercar automaking into the 21st century with the high-end, hyper-customized style and features that their customers expect in a vehicle of this caliber. It’s an extreme example of something we see every day in the auto industry. Everyone making investments in new vehicles wants a deeper level of customization and 3D printing is helping make it possible.”– Pat Carey, Senior Vice President, Strategic Growth for Stratasys
For this project, Stratasys will be using multiple technologies including FDM®, SAF™, stereolithography, and P3™ Programmable PhotoPolymerization.
Parts such as a large solid composite firewall sandwich core printed in two halves in ULTEM 1010 resin were created by the team. Without the use of a layup tool, the part was bonded together into a single piece and then wrapped in carbon fiber. The firewall was designed with complex mounting features for interior speakers, a fuel filler mount, and the luggage compartment. Many exterior components, such as side mirror housings, radiator ducts, and body vents, were also printed in FDM® Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber and ASA materials. Due to a variety of factors, including strength requirements, an aggressive project schedule, and complete design freedom, numerous mounting brackets throughout the car were printed in FDM Nylon 12 CF.
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