East Sussex, UK, 10th August 2020 – Eagle, a restorer of the legendary Jaguar E-Type car, has announced a partnership with Graphite Additive Manufacturing Ltd. to use HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 technology to produce custom parts. Eagle has already seen a huge increase in quality, cost-effectiveness and efficiency since switching to HP’s 3D printing.
Eagle deals in only one car: the luxury Jaguar E-Type. Since it was founded in 1984, the company has made a name for its own “Eagle E-Types”, which are meticulously restored over the course of about 4,000 hours. Eagle re-manufactures the E-Type to a modern-day standard of quality that has resulted in BBC’s Top Gear referring to it as "probably the best built handmade car in the world."
For the past four years, Eagle has worked closely with Graphite Additive Manufacturing Ltd., a UK-based 3D printing service which produces one-off models or production runs of functional parts for businesses and individuals. Since using HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 technology for the air conditioning and heating air ducts within its E-Type cars, Eagle has benefitted from a significant reduction in turnaround times, streamlined processes and greater flexibility to meet customers’ unique demands.
"We’ve been impressed by the improvement in how these parts look since using HP 3D printing, as well as their durability," said Paul Brace, director at Eagle. "The heating ducts need to be attractive enough to sit on the dashboard, and these parts match the exceptional quality of our classic cars. With HP technology, we get the desired finish first time. Additional benefits we’ve seen include the wider scope for shapes that we can now create using 3D printing, and the weight reduction in materials on offer. This adds value for customers who are keen to keep parts as lightweight as possible.”
Whereas with previous technology, Graphite Additive Manufacturing Ltd. had to mix materials and load the machine by hand, HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 simplifies workflow with automated material mixing and loading systems. For Graphite Additive Manufacturing Ltd., HP has helped to cut down an entire day’s work into a period of 30 minutes. With increased automation, HP technology also reduces Graphite Additive Manufacturing Ltd.’s use of materials during production, allowing it to reclaim and reuse excess material.
A key challenge for Eagle was its low volume component requirements, as the business only creates four to five E-Types per year. On top of this, there are five model variations, each being either left or right-hand drive with entirely different technical specifications. This means that certain bespoke parts are used in very low numbers - perhaps even just one per year. Normal manufacturing methods such as laser cutting, machining and moulded parts require production of a reasonable quantity to be economically viable.
HP’s 3D printed parts allow Eagle to order single units economically, as the digital 3D model is easily adjusted and the final part swiftly printed. This means that, if required, every part can be an evolution of the last with no cost implication from the change other than the shipping.
“We’re thrilled that the customisation offered by HP technology allows Eagle flexibility and efficiency when designing its market leading bespoke vehicles. The ability of 3D printing to produce custom-made, high-quality car parts provide a host of solutions for the automotive sector, and we’re excited to see how it helps shape the future of car manufacturing in the coming years,” commented George Brasher, UK&I Managing Director at HP.
The HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 offers customers an easy-to-use solution that scales with its business, and an integrated, end-to-end process that delivers both functional prototypes and final parts.
For additional information on the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 solution, click here to find out more.