One of the craziest applications of 3D printing in the automotive industry that we have discovered so far is the restoration of vintage cars. After GRYP, the Bordeaux-based company specialized in that activity, meet KW Heritage that restores the vintage car Alfa Romeo Tipos with the help of additive manufacturing.


Image via KW Heritage

KW Heritage is a company that takes advantage of engineering alongside traditional craftmanship to ensure restoration, optimization and re-manufacture of vehicles. If you are a car addict, you probably remember the Alfa Romeo Tipo as a major success in 1971 at races in Buenos Aires, Sebring and Brands Hatch and even in the Steve McQueen film Le Mans.

However, when the car’s front engine cover suffered from deterioration; this led to ignition problems and options for a replacement cover happened to be limited.

The team of KW Heritage therefore decided to exploit a range of modern engineering techniques to restore it.

The restoration

With the help of a CAD software and a 3D scanner, the team created a digital scan of the engine cover, developing a proof of concept replacement part through additive manufacturing techniques.

Once the key components and interfaces were 3D scanned, they re-designed the part and 3D printed a prototype in just a few days. Adhering to the letter and spirit of FIA certification, this effective remanufacturing process has the capability to help resurrect the vehicles of the past.

Edward Smith, head of heritage engineering at KW Heritage, commented: “Obsolescence is a major issue in the classic and historic vehicle market but modern engineering techniques offer a timely and effective solution.”

At KW Heritage, we provide modern engineering and manufacturing solutions to the heritage market, from components through to full vehicles. By working closely with teams, restorers, collectors and vehicle owners, we are helping enthusiasts strike the perfect balance between old and new, with modern engineering techniques keeping the cars of yesteryear on the road for longer.”

The company will be showcasing the vehicle during its 20th anniversary weekend between September 7-9, 2018.

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Corporate communication and content marketing specialist at 3D Adept, Kety has a great interest in technological innovations, precisely for the scope of 3D printing on different sectors of activity. In order to take advantage of it, a wide range of innovations still have to be discovered about the technologies that shape the world of tomorrow.