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Restoration Race

KW Heritage Uses 3D Printing to Restore Engine Cover of Rare Alfa Romeo Tipo

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Sep 4, 2018

KW Heritage, a restoration service from engineering firm KW Special Projects, used 3D scanning and 3D printing to restore the engine cover of a rare Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 racing car, which will be on display at the Goodwood Revival motor racing festival.

KW Heritage is a service that is under the umbrella of KW Special Projects (KSW), a high-performance engineering specialist based in Northamptonshire, UK. The aim of KW Heritage is to work on individual projects or “classic aspirations”.

One of their most recent projects involves restoring the engine cover of a rare Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 sports car. The car is just one of 12 that were made by the highly coveted Italian automotive brand decades ago.

In 1971, this particular car model was a success at various races in Buenos Aires, Sebring, and Brands Hatch. It even starred in the prestigious Steve McQueen film entitled Le Mans. As a result, it has a strong and historic standing that has transcended time.

But, many years after the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 racing onto the big screen, trouble struck when the car’s front engine cover started to deteriorate. This caused ignition troubles and, worse yet, the replacement parts weren’t available any longer. This is where 3D scanning and 3D printing have swooped into the pitstop to save the day.

“Obsolescence is a major issue in the classic and historic vehicle market but modern engineering techniques offer a timely and effective solution,” said Edward Smith, Head of Heritage Engineering at KW Heritage.

Alfa Romeo Tipo

Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 On Display at Goodwood Revival

The process of restoring this rare racing car started with 3D scanning the engine cover, followed by creating a 3D CAD model that adheres to FIA certification. Since the engine cover had already deteriorated quite a bit, the CAD design had to be re-engineered to eliminate the defects.

From here, the resulting prototype component was 3D printed in a high-performancence thermoplastic and used for in-situ validation. Once the part was validated, the team went on to cast the final component in aluminum.

“At KW Heritage, we provide modern engineering and manufacturing solutions to the heritage market, from components through to full vehicles. By working closely with teams, restorers, collectors and vehicle owners, we are helping enthusiasts strike the perfect balance between old and new, with modern engineering techniques keeping the cars of yesteryear on the road for longer,” Smith adds.

For those wanting to see the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 in all of its former glory, it will be on display at Goodwood Revival, the historic car festival taking place from September 7 to 9. The event is being held at the Goodwood Circuit in Chichester, United Kingdom.

In addition to visiting the car, you can also learn about the 3D scanning process used in the restoration. KW Heritage will be onsite to conduct live demonstrations of the technology.

If you happen to be in the area, you can find the Alfa Romeo Tipo at KW Heritage’s stand in the OTR (Over The Road) section at Unit 294.

Source: KSW Press Release

License: The text of "KW Heritage Uses 3D Printing to Restore Engine Cover of Rare Alfa Romeo Tipo" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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