3D Printing Allows Special Version of Aston Martin Vanquish

The man who designed the sportscar is making a special limited-edition reimagining of it. 3D printing is playing a role.


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Aston Martin Vanquish of 2001 recreated for 2021

To recreate the Aston Martin Vanquish of 2001 for 2021 the team at CALLUM identified more than 100 areas that could be improved. As there are just 25 of the sportscars being built, additive is being used for tooling as well as for on-vehicle components, such as brake ducts. (Images: CALLUM)

With cars including the Aston Martin Vanquish, Vantage and DB9; and Jaguar F-Type, F-PACE and I-PACE to his credit, Ian Callum is one of the most legendary vehicle designers in the world. In July 2019 Callum and a handful of his colleagues established a design and engineering company based in Warwick, UK, CALLUM. The company is based in a 20,000-square-foot facility equipped with the technology and equipment necessary to provide design, prototyping, machining and trim services. Additive technology is part of the suite.

Upon its launch, the new company went back to one of Ian Callum’s designs, recreating it to become the “Aston Martin CALLUM Vanquish 25 by R-Reforged.”

The “25” goes to the point that the company will make just 25 of these special vehicles. R-Reforged is a Swiss company that specializes in special, limited edition sports car production that has joined this project. CALLUM is deploying a Method X 3D printer from MakerBot in the development and build of the car.

We caught up with Adam Donfrancesco, engineering director at the company, to learn about what it is doing with 3D printing for the special-edition car as well as for other opportunities. Donfrancesco’s experience includes engineering positions at British sportscar specialist Noble Automotive, Aston Martin and, of course, Jaguar.

AM: What parts are going to be printed for the CALLUM Vanquish 25?

Donfrancesco: At present we plan to use 3D printing for a number of production parts. These include the brake ducts to force cooling air to the ceramic brake setup we now have. This was a feature we could incorporate by revising the front bumper. We will use additive manufacturing to create a number of discreet or hidden parts such as switch holders that are used behind the dashboard. Some of these are new components but others are replacements for obsolete components that are no longer available.

Off-car applications excite us and looking forward, we are keen to investigate the feasibility to produce tooling as well as jigs and fixtures using AM technology.

AM: What will those parts be made with?

Donfrancesco: We will be using MakerBot Nylon Carbon Fiber for tooling, and MakerBot ABS and SEBS for other applications, but as part of the partnership [with MakerBot] we want to push the boundaries and experiment with the growing number of materials that are being developed.

AM: Does additive make it easier to execute limited-edition runs?

Donfrancesco: AM makes it easier to create parts without having to invest in tooling so this technology does make it easier for low volume and specialist manufacturers.

AM: Does CALLUM have 3D printers made by other companies? and if so, what are they?

Donfrancesco: We bought our first MakerBot machine when we formed CALLUM 18 months ago. We have done a project looking at the use of ceramic 3D printing with XJet but for production parts, we are using MakerBot. We also outsource manufacturing of Stratasys FDM parts to existing, trusted partners.

AM: What is more valuable to the firm: the ability to create prototypes with 3D printing or the ability to make production parts?

Donfrancesco: For a niche design and manufacturing business, both of these are important. Ian Callum talked considerably about the benefits of being able to create parts and forms that were not previously possible. He has also said it is great to be able to print parts to view and assess them and move away from just seeing them on a screen. We see AM technology benefitting all areas of the business.