Rebuilding Classic Cars with the Help of 3D Printing

by Glen Chancellor

Some say Chip Foose is the father of the modern hot rod. He is a celebrity within the automotive world, best known for hosting the show “Overhaulin” on the Discovery Channel where he and his team take run-down vehicles and make them into custom-built hot rods.

Chip and I first got acquainted when he worked with GoEngineer customer Metal Crafters. Since then, Chip and I have been in the same car club where everybody helps each other work on their cars.

What’s a Mach Foose?

At the 2017 SEMA show, I helped his company, Foose Design, on a project that called “Mach Foose.” I first learned about the project on a visit to his shop.

The car is a custom version of a 1971 Mustang Mach built on the chassis of a 2011 Mustang. It was kind of a weird combination, so he had to custom fabricate quite a bit of it.

3D Printing the Mirrors

I offered GoEngineer services to help build the mirrors for the project (the mirrors were already modeled in SOLIDWORKS). I have to admit that the Foose team was a little hesitant at first about using the 3D printed material on this car.

However, I assured them that Stratasys’ ULTEM 9085 is a production-grade thermoplastic. It is ideal for the transportation industry due to its high strength-to-weight ratio. Plus, it is as strong as aluminum.

Next thing you know, I am running the first prototype on a Stratasys F370 in PC-ABS. This is a less expensive material. So we did some printed out some test versions [with the cheaper material] and let them decide if they liked the design. Once that was approved, I printed the final version in ULTEM 9085 on the Fortus 450mc.

We also printed templates for cutting the mirror glass.

Grab[CAD] It and Print It
We used GrabCAD that takes files directly from SOLIDWORKS (no need to create an STL file). It all came together really slick. It was a fun project and the Foose Design team appreciated the results.

So the next time you are working on your car, remember, you might be able to custom 3D print parts for it.


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