Latest 3D Printing and Scanning Technology
Gloucestershire based Forge Motorsport has recently invested heavily in the very latest 3D printing and scanning technology, in order to allow the firm to stay at the forefront of precision component design and manufacture.
As an OEM supplier to the likes of Subaru UK and Isuzu UK, as well as the engineering force behind many blue-chip tuning brands, Forge has always pushed the boundaries of innovation with the latest CNC machine tool technology. Adding to this, the latest additions to its rapid prototyping division will allow the firm to engineer new products much more quickly and accelerate its already impressive speed-to-market timeframes.
A state-of-the-art 3D printer allows anything designed in Forge’s CAD system to be turned into a facsimile component in just a few hours. Even complex and sizeable components like engine mounts and valves can be quickly created from scratch within one working day, allowing Forge’s R&D team to trial-fit and refine all components before committing to the time and expense of creating the finished item in the machine shop.
To assist in the creation of new components, Forge has also invested in both a robotic scanning arm and 3D scanner. With these two useful tools, technicians can commit any existing or prototype component into CAD in just a few minutes, to allow the design team to then take the design to the next stage. Components like intercooler end tanks for instance, can now be scanned and converted into a 3D model for casting within a few hours – a process that would have previously taken several days.
Commenting on the company’s new direction, Forge managing director Peter Miles said, “Investing in the latest technology has always been our way to stay ahead of the curve, but even I am pleasantly surprised how much easier and more cost effective our R&D process has become with these changes. Our designers can now quickly and easily try out several variables in a short space of time, as well as investigating many more different solutions to each engineering problem. Not only will we be able to design and manufacture new products more efficiently, but also, each new component will be the most effective design it can possibly be. I’m excited that it will allow us to offer a much greater level of service to our dealers, end users and technical partners.”