East Sussex, UK, 12th August 2020 – Eagle, a restorer of the legendary Jaguar E-Type car, has announced a partnership with Graphite Additive Manufacturing Ltd. to use HP’s Jet Fusion 4200 3D printing solution to produce custom parts. Eagle has already seen a huge increase in quality, cost-effectiveness and efficiency since switching to HP’s 3D printing from other 3D printing processes.
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 provider which produces one-off models or production runs of functional parts for businesses and individuals. Since using HP’s advanced 3D printing platform for the air conditioning and heating air ducts within its E-Type cars, Eagle has benefited from a significant reduction in turnaround times, streamlined processes and greater flexibility to meet customers’ unique demands.
“Since we began using HP’s 3D printing technology for production, we’ve been impressed by the improvement in how these parts look as well as their durability,” said Paul Brace, director at Eagle. “HP’s 3D platform consistently delivers the desired finish which is very important to our process. The heating ducts need to be attractive enough to sit on the dashboard, and these parts match the exceptional quality of our classic cars. 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 3D printing technologies, Graphite Additive Manufacturing Ltd. had to mix materials and load the machine by hand, HP’s 3D printing solution simplifies workflow with automated material mixing and loading systems, cutting down an entire day’s work into a period of 30 minutes.
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 produce in low volumes with design and economic advantages, 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.
“The capabilities of HP’s 3D printing solutions are ideal for the production of 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. “It’s exciting to see Eagle’s commitment to innovation as they take advantage of the efficient, flexible design and customisation enabled by HP 3D solutions for its market leading bespoke vehicles.”
The HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D Printing Solution offers customers an easy-to-use solution that scales with its business, and enables an integrated, end-to-end process that delivers both functional prototypes and final parts.
For more information on HP’s advanced, industrial-grade 3D printing solutions click here.