“We have been 3D scanning, designing in CAD, and building parts for quite some time,” says Katz. “But we needed something bigger that would give us more flexibility and be compatible with stronger materials. The BigRep STUDIO G2 and Pro HT materials did exactly that.” Believe it or not, Katz and his team are self taught CAD designers, machinists, and installation specialists. The BigRep STUDIO G2 is specifically designed to be a simple piece of machinery for users but Katz and his team are pushing the limits and developing hybrid manufacturing solutions that are actively changing the game for automobile customization.
“Our team is hyperfocused on productivity and quality. The expertise in this shop is second-to-none and together, we complement each other’s strengths to maximize our output.” Katz expresses gratitude for his team and makes it clear that his employees and their capabilities are what sets them apart in the industry. Adding the BigRep STUDIO G2 to the facility is like adding another professional and Katz relies on the same productivity and quality.
For example, JK Automotive Designs was tasked to develop a full interior for a 33 Ford Roadster. One of the components designed was a custom door panel that required an unconventional approach. The door itself had an odd contour and complex design that made it challenging to machine or fabricate with traditional processes. Not to mention, expensive and time consuming. Instead, the team digitized the existing frame with their Creaform 3D scanner, reverse engineered it, and brought it into CAD. Then designed the panel and sent it directly to the BigRep STUDIO G2.
The STUDIO 3D printer requires no additional user operation so while it’s printing, the team is able to work on other aspects of the job. 56 hours later the part was bonded to a flat panel, previously machined on the 3-axis CNC, and ready for fit and finish. JK Automotive Designs added a new arm rest also printed on the BigRep STUDIO G2, upgraded the electronics, and eventually placed the hybrid (half machine/ half printed) door panel to the vehicle.
“The conventional way to produce something like this is highly manual,” Katz says. “You would need to heat plastic and bend it to get it to fit close, then use body fillers to achieve perfect fitment. With the BigRep and 3D printing, it fits perfectly the first time which really helps us stay on project timelines.”