3D Systems has declared that celebrity car enthusiast Jay Leno relied on the company’s 3D technology to reproduce and replace custom vents on his 650 horsepower, hand-built EcoJet concept car.
Positioned behind the EcoJet’s doors, the specially designed vents are critical in ensuring sufficient airflow to the jet engine that powers the vehicle. However, the original vents were extremely delicate and broke as the car was being pushed out of the workshop. Leno and his team of mechanics and engineers needed to recreate these parts, but did not have access to the original design to guide them. Without a CAD file to work from, Leno and his team turned to 3D Systems to digitally manufacture perfect replacements.
The team first used 3D Systems Geomagic Design™ X software to convert 3D scan data from broken vent pieces into solid, editable CAD models. Working with these models, the team was able to reconstruct and optimize the original vents on-screen in less than half-an-hour. Leno’s team then sent the digital file of the restored vents to 3D Systems’ on demand parts manufacturing service, Quickparts®, to 3D print them using the company’s Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology.
“It is amazing, how we just take 3D scans and come back with end-use parts that fit perfectly,” said Jay Leno, who regularly uses 3D Systems’ printers, materials, software and on demand services to restore and maintain his collection of more than 200 vehicles. “With 3D printing, the automotive industry has changed more in the last decade than it previously did in the last century.”