ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE COMPONENTS
Usually, when visiting any kind of auto shop, we think of loud engines, dirty cars, and the smell of gas. Visiting Brock Winberg and his company Electric GT is anything but, and we are surprised to find a high-end customization facility filled with rare cars which have gone through, or are currently going through, electric conversions. There are no loud engines, no fuel smell, and the cars are extremely clean as if they were made in a lab. Within minutes of entering the small shop located in sunny Huntington Beach, California, we notice Brock’s famed 1970 FJ that is completely overhauled, converted into an electric showpiece. It is absolutely beautiful and features a number of 3D printed parts, mostly made on the Airwolf 3D EVO. Brock’s electric creations have evolved over the years. From small RC drift cars, then to go-karts. He started small, eventually working his way up to creating electrified Hummers and even converting a classic VW Type 20 Bus into an incredible electric concept machine utilizing several 3D printed components.
After taking a small tour of the shop, we get the feeling that additive manufacturing plays a huge role in what Electric GT is doing – designing complete systems for electrifying vehicles. Without it, Electric GT’s projects would cost much more to fund, take longer, and be more difficult to engineer. The amount of 3D printed components, especially in the final creations is impressive.
Brock attributes his reliance on 3D printing to machines like the EVO, which have been workhorses during crunch time. His EVO, which is about 2 years old, has seen over 5,000 hours. It sits next to other machines making smaller parts, as Brock stated their reliability wasn’t up to par with the EVO, and couldn’t go through what it takes to make large useful ABS parts.
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