Stratasys produces 3D-prints parts for Radford’s Lotus sports car
By DE staffGeneral Automotive
1960s-inspired racer incorporates 500+ FDM, PolyJet, and SLA-produced components.
To produce the first two cars, more than 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. The array of Stratasys printers included the F900, F770, Fortus 450mc, F370 and J55.
Utilizing the various 3D printers allowed the team to produce parts like a large solid composite firewall sandwich core, printed in two halves on the Stratasys F900 printer in ULTEM 1010 resin. The part was bonded together into a single piece and then wrapped with carbon fiber without the use of a layup tool. The firewall’s design included mounting features for interior speakers, a fuel filler mount, and the luggage compartment.
In addition, exterior items – such as the side mirror housings, radiator ducts and body vents – were printed in FDM Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber and ASA materials. Numerous mounting brackets throughout the car were printed in FDM Nylon 12 CF due to factors including strength requirements, the aggressive project schedule and complete design freedom.
“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,” said Stratasys Senior VP, Pat Carey. “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.”