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Bentley and 3D Printing


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3. October 2013

Although the words “stately,” “sumptuous” and “sporty” generally aren’t ascribed to the same thing, it is indubitably the case with vehicles from Bentley.

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Consider, for example, the Continental GT V8 S, which is available both as a coupe and convertible. This is a large vehicle with presence. It is 189.2 in. long, 76.5 in. wide, and 54.9 in. high. Big.

There is a four-liter, twin-turbo rumbling under the bonnet. It provides 521 hp at 6,000 rpm and 502 lb-ft of torque at 1,700 rpm. The engine is mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic. Despite its mass—5,060 lb. for the coupe; 5,445 lb. for the convertible—the GT V8 S can move with some alacrity: the top end for the coupe is 192 mph; it is 191 mph for the convertible.

Inside the cabin, it is a clubroom of leathers, wood veneers, metals, and lush carpeting.

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Said Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, “The Bentley Continental is the definitive grand tourer. Its effortless performance, generous space, handcrafted luxury and all-wheel drive capability take you on a journey in refined style and comfort. Now, for those customers who want even more drama and excitement, the sharper, sporting edge of the new GT V8 S adds a new dimension to the Continental range.”

Indeed.

Which brings us to the Bentley design studio in Crewe. Whilst (might as well use the British term) much of the work that goes into a Bentley is handcrafted, this is not to say that the company is not au courant when it comes to deploying technology. Case in point: the use of 3D printing for design development.

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According to David Hayward, Operations & Project Manager, Bentley Design Studio, they’re using a variety of equipment from Stratasys for the development of such things as the tailpipe trim, grilles, moldings, headlamps, and mirrors. They’re printing models that are scale all the way to full-size.

An interesting look at what goes on inside the studio can be found here:

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