BAC launched the next generation of the world-renowned Mono single-seater at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2019. BAC partnered with DSM to co-develop 3D printing applications used in the manufacturing of the Mono, to create a cutting-edge, more organic and lighter design. 3D printing offered BAC significant advantages that included freedom to produce prototype parts with sinuous, organic designs, and considerable weight savings that could not be achieved with traditional methods of manufacturing.
To develop the prototype, BAC required many large 3D printed parts for the Mono R launch and worked with MNL prototyping services through DSM to help with the project. MNL, a 3D printing service bureau based in Bidford-on-Avon, England, provides prototyping services for a range of industries and is home to one of the largest 3D printing stereolithography systems available, the RPS NEO800.
The NEO800 was chosen as the stereolithography 3D printer to produce the prototype. This was due to the large platform but also the NEO’s reputation within the industry of producing parts with outstanding surface quality.
With the NEO800, MNL could produce large prototype parts for the Mono R with organic shapes and hollow internal structures, radically reducing weight while maintaining strength. This coupled with its ability to produce detailed parts with outstanding side-wall quality meant MNL could reduce post processing, achieving further time savings and cost reductions.
”“Using additive manufacturing was crucial for keeping design-to-manufacture times down and allowing us to meet tight deadlines with ample creative freedom – while the quality of the finished result is testament to the work of the NEO800.”
Ian BriggsBAC Design Director
Using the NEO800’s 800 x 800 x 600mm platform and DSM’s Watershed resin, MNL successfully produced the large rear wheel arches, each measuring at 915 x 330 x 550mm. The size of the NEO800 platform allowed MNL to produce each wheel arch in one build without the need for cutting parts into smaller pieces.
Further, larger parts were also printed on the NEO800 such as the wide rear wing, spine, wing mirror stays, front light bezels and rear light clusters. Expert finishing from the MNL team completed the final look of some of the parts, such as the polished lens showcasing great optical quality. The smooth finish of each part produced on the NEO800 also meant no post-processing, therefore very little or greatly reduced finishing times for paint, resulting in speedy turnaround of parts for MNL.
Ross Nicholls, Technical Director of Malcolm Nicholls Limited, stated: “The superb smoothness of the parts from this machine is a significant improvement over our previous ones, our high standard of finish can now be achieved more rapidly. Coupled with the extremely large build volume we are able to complete projects in even shorter timeframes.”
David Storey, Director of RPS stated: “BAC is showing classic British innovation and engineering excellence which is truly exemplified in the Mono R supercar development. We are thrilled that the NEO800 was behind the printed parts used on the car, and thankful to be involved in such an amazing project. Teaming up with the likes of Malcolm Nicholls and DSM meant the project was always in good hands and we hope to see further innovation from BAC soon.”
Ian Briggs, Design Director of BAC, added: “We pride ourselves on being the ultimate pioneers at BAC, and joining forces with DSM, RPS and MNL meant we once again lead the way – this time in terms of additive manufacturing. Keeping the Mono R as light as possible was of paramount importance in its development, and by using 3D printing we not only keep the kilograms down, but also keep sustainability and safety on the up. Using additive manufacturing was crucial for keeping design-to-manufacture times down and allowing us to meet tight deadlines with ample creative freedom – while the quality of the finished result is testament to the work of the NEO800.”
Next ProjectOne3D utilise the NEO800 to provide 3D printed lens prototypes for automotive industry
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