Long-timeTonight Show host and car enthusiast Jay Leno relied on 3D Systems' (Rock Hill, SC) selective laser sintering (SLS) technology to reproduce and replace custom vents on his 650hp, hand-built EcoJet concept car.
Positioned behind the EcoJet's doors, the specially designed vents are critical in ensuring sufficient airflow to the jet engine that powers the vehicle. However, the original vents were extremely delicate and broke as the car was being pushed out of the workshop. Leno and his team of mechanics and engineers needed to recreate these parts, but did not have access to the original design to guide them. Without a CAD file to work from, he and his team turned to 3D Systems to digitally manufacture replacements.
The team first used the company's Geomagic Design X software to convert 3D scan data from broken vent pieces into solid, editable CAD models. Working with these models, the team was able to reconstruct and optimize the original vents on-screen in less than 30 min, wherein traditional methods would have taken nearly a week of hand modeling per vent because of the EcoJet's custom-built asymmetry. Leno's team then sent the digital file of the restored vents to the company's Quickparts on-demand parts manufacturing service to 3D-print them using the company's SLS technology and apply the necessary finishing processes.
Choosing Quickparts provided Leno and his team access to the company's 3D printing technologies and materials, including DuraForm HST, a lightweight, fiber-filled nylon ideal for functional prototypes and end-use parts that require stiffness and elevated thermal resistance. The experts at Quickparts were not only able to deliver the ultra-clean lines and robust physical properties demanded of the EcoJet, but also significantly improve the vents' strength-to-weight ratio using a fraction of the time and money that traditionally manufactured custom vents would require.
Leno regularly uses the company's printers, materials, software, and on-demand services to restore and maintain his collection of more than 200 vehicles. To learn more about his collection, please visit www.nbc.com/jay-lenos-garage.
For more information on 3D Systems, please visit www.3dsystems.com.