First, a little about myself and our little startup company. I’m a mechanical engineer with a heavy background in manufacturing and technology. My first car was a ’77 280z. It was a great little project car and a lot of fun to tinker with. I ended up doing a turbo/holset/megasquirt/edis conversion and driving the rings off of it—what a blast. I ended up selling that car and buying a ’74 260z SCCA race: Holley 4 barrel, big cam, headers, light flywheel, straight pipes. It generally terrified passengers and sounded like Barry White gargling wasps. Those two cars gave me a love for Z and an appreciation for the fantastic and knowledgeable community of HybridZ.
Our company is a little one at the moment, with three engineers and assorted consultants. We started just last year and have been slowly piecing together the machinery to offer a wide range of rapid prototype services. Our primary objective is to help migrate high technology from the aerospace/medical industries to oil/gas and automotive. Our core technology is Electron Beam 3D melting of exotic materials. We are the only small private company in the world to own an Arcam EBM printer. With over $2mil invested in the machine, training, and R&D, this represents our commitment to staying on the bleeding edge of additive manufacturing. This machine uses a 60,000v electron beam to fuse powder, slice by slice, inside a vacuum chamber. The result is a 99.9% dense, tempered, high tolerance, ASTM-rated material straight out of the machine. The unique geometries that can be produced with this process allow incredible design freedom. The primary material we use is Titanium Ti6Al4v, with Inconel 718 also being possible. Other services include high temperature Ultem 3D plastic printing, precision miniature Stainless/Inconel investment casting, tensile testing, coating, finishing, CNC, and more.
Thus far we've worked in conjunction with academia and various O&G/Aero companies to development solutions for their unique needs. Since we’re small and will have to work hard to achieve name recognition for the processes and our company in particular, we’ve agreed to hold various promotions through the different hobbies that our engineers have had. Cars, guns, rocketry, sports, and more. We are really trying to reach out to all those engineers out there that wrench at night and drive a desk designing for industry by day. My car buddies have been tossing around the idea of custom Inconel turbo manifolds. We’re up for trying anything that is a good demonstration of the technology.
CAD-to-Metal Contest details:
· The most innovative and well-engineered design will be awarded with our rapid prototype services 100% free. Services include Ti6Al4v 3D fusing or Rapid-vest Stainless/Inconel Casting.
· Members have until July 1, 2014, to submit designs. Only 3D CAD formats are accepted but a short PowerPoint design presentation is suggested.
· Winner will be announced July 4, 2014.
· Submissions may be posted here or emailed directly for privacy.
· Design components must be sub-system such as intake, exhaust, induction, fuel delivery, power transmission, etc. No complete 7-liter titanium engine blocks, guys!
· Geometrical and tolerance limitations do apply. 210mm/210mm/170mm for Ti6Al4v and 1000mm/1000mm/500mm for Stainless/Inconel. Typical tolerances plus minus .007” prior to finish machining.
We’ll be running a much larger and more public promotion through GrabCad next month, but this project is just for HybridZ. I’ve seen really fantastic work in the areas of custom intake and exhaust manifolds made on this forum. I encourage all those individuals to participate in the contest, and let us help you realize those ideas. This is truly a no-strings-attached contest. I simply thought it was important to give back to the community with our capabilities. I look forward to seeing your ideas and giving feedback during the design process. Good luck!