Turning impossible concepts into reality.
Agulló and his team were challenged to construct the company’s 2019 concept car, the Italdesign DaVinci, in time for its inauguration at the Geneva Motor Show. The idea behind the DaVinci car is to revive the best of Italian elegance, integrating different luxury materials and textures within the interior that reflect the avant-garde style of the outer body.
Having explored a number of the ways in which this material sophistication could be achieved, the use of marble had strong appeal due to its elegant appearance and finish. However, producing such parts in time for the show using the traditional stonemasonry process was not possible.
“We identified the key areas of the vehicle interior we wanted to produce in marble – the central console, air conditioning diffusors and door inlays – but quickly realized that we couldn’t use traditional techniques to achieve the marble finish in the remaining timeframe we had ahead of the Geneva Motor Show,” explained Agulló.
To overcome these obstacles, Italdesign looked for technology alternatives capable of providing an ultra-realistic imitation marble, including the color nuances and feel – all within the tight deadline. Having tested several possible solutions, the team turned to the J750 and its unique capability to 3D print marble effects and textures directly onto parts. To achieve this, the team designed each part via CAD and using a render software, digitally overlaid the marble texture onto the part to deliver the desired effect. Once the design was validated, the final file was uploaded to GrabCAD Print™ to enable printing.
“Without the J750, it simply would have not been possible to produce the marble parts for the DaVinci,” said Agulló. “Using the J750, we were able to rapidly 3D print high quality marble-effect parts that were the same each and every time, offering us much better repeatability than the conventional process.
“Instead of several weeks of work, in just over a weekend we were able to produce four air conditioning diffusers, two door inlays and the central console,” he continued. “Everyone was taken aback by the results, both in terms of the resolution accuracy and material quality – so much so that no design iterations were required. In fact, we started 3D printing on the Friday and by Monday morning, the final parts were ready to be presented to the Italian headquarters for validation.”