You start by looking at where you want the car to go, and in the case of a high rear-end, it’s usually in the middle where you know it’s going to go; the first point of reference.”
That means he’s going to have to figure out how the whole car moves – not just the front end. “For example, if I wanted to drive a car from the front, I’d probably look at it at an angle with a piece of sheet metal over the engine,” he says.
After making these adjustments he’ll take a photo with his mobile phone’s self-maintaining camera and upload the original photo to the CAD system to replicate the car – which is then made ready for shipping. He’ll then call up the supplier and get them to design each part himself.
“We’ve had a few failures like that, where the engineer says he’s been so pleased with it, he’s written down what he’s done right – and then we start having a hard time finding the right size,” he says. “We’d love to have a machine that can replicate the whole car, but it takes a specialised kind of hand to really replicate the engine.”
But it’s actually a lot easier to design each part from the inside then take it apart after it’s made. “If we’d had a car factory, we probably couldn’t have done it,” he says. “At the moment, if we wanted to redesign the engine a little bit, I need to have the engineer with me, and I’d be having to go in and change the parts that have been designed – so you’re just starting from scratch.”
But he does say that a machine like this one could have a huge impact on the future of technology. “You’ve basically designed it yourself, and that’s important for all companies, but when you need to put a product in the market, everything has to be made by someone else. It would mean you could have a lot more people doing the same stuff, and hopefully it would speed up the way you design technology.”
You can follow James Harding on Twitter here.
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