Building people’s dream cars is what the folks at Roaring Forties do best. Often, the Roaring Forties team must redesign parts quickly. Due to new emission regulations, a new engine for the RF GT40 needed to fit into an existing chassis. Changes had to be made to the brake and fuel line harness. “Fuel handling is something we have to get 110% right,” said Paul Bottomley, co-owner of the company. “Not only for performance on the track, but also to reduce the risk of thermal incident. After all, it’s not just a pipe. We also needed to be mindful of its durability due to fatigue.”
To accommodate emission changes to the fuel line on the GT40 chassis, Roaring Forties used Redeye on Demand to create fixtures fast while they were testing various component redesigns.
Parts for fixturing and tooling in the automotive manufacturing environment need to withstand high temperatures and vibrations while being lightweight and portable. And as component designs change, fixtures must be altered quickly. “We know that RedEye’s digital manufacturing is great for building parts for development testing – even end use,” said Bottomly. “Its accuracy and dimensional stability lets us build all of our jigs and fixtures with thermoplastics as well. One of the areas we improved was a simple jig for the fuel line which we use both as a fixture for aligning assemblies but it also doubles as our ‘go/no go’ gauge.”
The RF GT40’s chassis was custom built using jigs and fixtures produced by RedEye On Demand.
“Once you hand over a part to a customer, there is a multitude of ways to perceive quality. Parts not only need to look good and be fit for purpose; they need to work well as part of an overall assembly. If one part doesn’t mate up with another, it will result in an unhappy customer – something we strive to avoid,” says Jonathan Klopsteins, co-owner of Roaring Forties.
Various polycarbonate test fixtures with ABS trial part.
Redeye engineers recommended that Paul and Jonathan use polycarbonate. The higher melting point of the polycarbonate allowed them to solder brackets on prior to brazing. Since the jig is not stressed during use, it was also suggested that they build fixtures with a sparse fill – saving build time, piece cost and materials.
Manufacturing parts with complex geometries through a rapid prototyping process is much simpler and requires less engineering resources than traditional machining methods. Because thermoplastics are durable, this same technology is evolving from modeling to an alternative for low volume manufacturing of end-use parts.
Redeye on Demand