Surrey based Gordon Murray design introduced its first prototype, the T.25 City Car, in June this year, having invested in a Stratasys additive manufacturing system in order to manage the design and prototyping process in-house.
The machine is used to build multiple components for design and tooling. Prototyping and manufacturing using the machine plays a significant part in helping to reduce development costs, and the Fortus 400mc from Stratasys was involved throughout the design and prototype process.
Murray said: “We recently had a problem with the extrusions on rubber door seals. Each time we tried to pull them into place the corners creased. We thought we would need to get a new tool moulded just to enable us to pull the corners through. However, the designers decided to try the Fortus 400mc and managed to make both the tool and a soluble core directly on the machine. Into this mould, we were able to cast elastomer polyurethane resin to form the seals. The whole thing ending up costing us £1 instead of the £20,000 it would have cost to have it made off-site.”
He added: “We were initially using the machine as a design tool but soon discovered that we could use it more and more for structural parts. In fact, we’ve designed the entire of the T.25 interior using the Stratasys machine – including the instrument panel, sun visor, internal mirrors and internal trim.”
The machine has helped reduce costs and lead times, enabling projects to be delivered quicker and more effectively.
The company is now at work on its T.27, an all-electric three seater city car, with the machine helping bring this to market.
Stratasys machines are available in the UK from Laser Lines.