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Materialise helps Jaguar engineers realise the CX-75 concept car

posted 16 May 2011, 04:42 by RiDO Rotherham
Specialists from Materialise UK have worked with Jaguar Land Rover engineers to provide solutions for the unique design challenges associated with the company’s revolutionary CX-75 concept car. 

Because the concept design called for organic shapes to be used in the interior cabin traditional machining methods were unsuitable. Therefore, the alternative production techniques offered by the Materialise team based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham were used, with the advantage that they not only provided the desired results but were also cost effective. 

After collaborating with the Jaguar Land Rover teams to gain a full understanding of the component requirements in relation to the rest of the car, the Materialise engineers used their expertise in rapid prototyping processes to develop ideal solutions. 

Due to the client requirements, the majority of the parts were produced in ABS using the Materialise suite of Fused Deposition Modelling machines (FDM), which enabled the components to be constructed directly from the supplied 3D CAD data. Materialise used its engineering experience and dedicated software to add the required internal strengthening ribs and structures to provide the components with integral strength and durability.

Other components not requiring such a high degree of functionality were produced by stereolithography on Materialise’s patented Mammoth machines, allowing large components to be manufactured in single pieces. This offered a big advantage as large components of this type traditionally need to be cut and glued, thus compromising on strength and finish.

A further benefit of the techniques recommended by Materialise was the relative speed of the processes, which typically takes around 50% less time than conventional methods. This allowed the Jaguar Land Rover engineers additional time to refine their CAD designs.

Johnathan Andrews, Account Manager of Materialise UK says, “We were delighted to work alongside the Jaguar Land Rover teams to contribute to the next generation of concept vehicles. I hope that the automotive industry sits up and takes note of the forward thinking technologies that the Jaguar Land Rover engineers applied to this car.  By utilising additive manufacturing technologies they have set the bar to a new level for concept design by being able to create organic forms and have a freedom of creation that was previously limited.”

Jaguar unveiled the CX-75 concept car at the 2010 Paris Auto Show; the stunning design combining style, performance, and eco-friendliness. The vehicle is driven by electric motors that power each wheel, supplemented by two diesel-fed micro-gas turbines. 

Materialise was able to bring its experience, both from other industries and from previous concept car programmes, to the CX-75 project. These have included; the Citroën Hypnos, the Renault Ondelios, and the Pininfarina Sintesi concept cars.