Automotive AM

Callum Automobile selects MakerBot METHOD X 3D

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Callum Automotive installed MakerBot‘s METHOD X 3D printer to produce functional prototypes, tooling and production parts. Callum’s luxury automotive design business focuses on luxury vehicles and associated lifestyle brands, including the limited edition Aston Martin Callum Vanquish 25 by R-Reforged.

The automotive industry spent 2020 taking up 3D printing devices for prototyping and production. Desktop Metal‘s printers were installed at Ford and the Centre Technique des Industries Mécaniques in France. Rolls Royce is serially printing automotive parts used in BMW vehicles. Volkswagen purchased Stratasys printers to enhance its prototyping capacity. Callum inscribes itself in this line of innovative automotive companies.

Callum is itself already known for innovation. The company was founded in 2019 by automotive designer Ian Callum, CBE, who is responsible for some of the industry’s most recognizable and iconic car designs. His accomplishments include the original Aston Martin Vanquish, the Ford Puma and 2019’s ‘World Car of the Year award winner’, the Jaguar I-PACE. True to Callum’s personal philosophy of taking inspiration from nature, art and music, the company’s mission is to design bespoke and limited-edition high-end automotive, travel and lifestyle products that combine cutting-edge design with real-world functionality. Callum has embraced a blend of the latest production techniques alongside traditional craftsmanship, including creating its own leather trim shop, which is housed in its 2,800 square metre Warwick-based facility in the United Kingdom.

The company has been using additive manufacturing from the jump to reproduce design concepts into tactile and representative models for internal review and proof of concept. METHOD X’s advanced capabilities allows the company to extend its application use of AM technology into three new key areas. This includes fully functional prototypes for rigorous testing and simulation; tooling for limited edition componentry and gauges; and customizable, low volume production parts for final use in the vehicles and other design projects it is working on.

The company’s first public project is the Aston Martin Callum Vanquish 25 by R-Reforged. This reimagining of the 2000s classic will feature over 350 engineering, material and design changes, thus transforming the much-loved car into a more practical and relevant GT. Just 25 limited-edition vehicles will be built in Warwick and will feature several 3D printed end-use parts, such as brake ducts, all of which will be produced using METHOD X.

Ian Callum, the Design Director, at Callum Automotive, said that: “I firmly believe that you can’t determine the quality of a design on a screen or photograph. You want to be able to see and touch something in 3D and additive manufacturing enables designers to do that quickly and cost-effectively. It’s a technology that hugely excites me.

“MakerBot’s METHOD X 3D printer is our first true step into industrial-grade additive manufacturing, and we are excited to push the boundaries of automotive design and production with this technology,” he continued. “For specialist engineering and design companies such as CALLUM, versatile machines such as METHOD X offer a way to enhance craftsmanship and find new, efficient means to solve design, manufacture and production challenges. As the world looks for more personalization and bespoke products, CALLUM is now better placed to support its designers and, ultimately, its customers.”

Nadav Goshen, CEO of MakerBot, was equally enthusiastic: “METHOD X’s heated enclosure and rapidly expanding materials portfolio continue to open up industrial-grade production to a much wider range of applications than ever before. Over the past couple of years, we have driven material innovation on the METHOD platform, and we are excited that the team at CALLUM will put its advanced capabilities to the test in some of the most demanding applications yet, and help accelerate the development of some truly next-generation vehicles.”

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Adam Strömbergsson

Adam is a legal researcher and writer with a background in law and literature. Born in Montreal, Canada, he has spent the last decade in Ottawa, Canada, where he has worked in legislative affairs, law, and academia. Adam specializes in his pursuits, most recently in additive manufacturing. He is particularly interested in the coming international and national regulation of additive manufacturing. His past projects include a history of his alma mater, the University of Ottawa. He has also specialized in equity law and its relationship to judicial review. Adam’s current interest in additive manufacturing pairs with his knowledge of historical developments in higher education, copyright and intellectual property protections.

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