We may just have to add this case study to our roundup of favorite 3D automotive restoration projects. Pittsburgh-based HV3DWorks LLC, a company specializing in the restoration and customization of classic cars, has leveraged ExOne’s binder jetting 3D printing technology to help restore a vintage Ferrari from 1969. The technology enabled the restoration team to reproduce a critical carburetor component for the Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 V-12 engine.
HV3DWorks was founded in 2016 by Paul Vorbach, a specialist in automotive restoration and customization. His company, like a number of others in the field, has recognized the benefits of additive manufacturing for restoring and fixing up old vehicles, as it can be used in combination with 3D scanning and reverse engineering to cost and time efficiently manufacture obsolete or rare parts in low volumes. HV3DWorks’ technology of choice is ExOne’s metal binder jetting.
“Once we learned about ExOne, and what they were doing with metal 3D printing, I recognized the potential of what we could do for the restoration business if we had the ability to access more of the parts we needed using additive,” said Vorbach. “Through our partnership and collaboration with ExOne, and the use of the company’s state-of-the-art additive technique, HV3DWorks is definitely on the cutting-edge within our industry.”
In this instance, HV3DWorks was hired to create a part for a vintage 1969 Ferrari engine. The sports car needed a replacement part for the top bit of a Weber 40 DFI-6 carburetor because the original carburetor had stripped threads and leaked fuel. Interestingly, the car’s owner owns a maintenance and restoration business for vintage cars, but had been unable to source the replacement part through the usual means. Eventually, they reached out to HV3DWorks for its AM offering.
In the restoration process, the original carburetor top was sent to the Pittsburgh company so it could be redesigned and printed. The HV3DWorks team recreated a model of the part and initially printed it in plastic to confirm its fit. Once the part’s design was approved, it was 3D printed from 316 stainless steel with bronze infiltration using ExOne’s M-Flex metal 3D printer.
The 3D printed Weber 40 DFI-6 carburetor top was finalized within just 12 weeks (including the design and post-processing stages). The 3D printed component was also significantly cheaper than the original part – $1,300 cheaper to be exact.
“It is my mission at HV3DWorks LLC to bring 3D printing technology to my fellow restorers, builders, and car enthusiasts,” added Vorbach. “With ExOne as a partner, my goal of making 3D printing for car people by car people is becoming a reality. Our opportunities have definitely broadened to grow the business.”
The automotive restoration company uses metal AM in its work frequently: for instance, it 3D printed a Corteco fuel pump body for a 1951 Alfa Romeo 6c 2500 engine, which was delivered in just 10 weeks and which saved the customer $1,500. HV3DWorks also successfully reproduced obsolete hood latches for a 1921 Kissel Gold Bug Speedster to appear at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance in Monterey California. This job took only four weeks.