3D printing rescues a 1914 Delage Grand Prix car

By: Andy Enright

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Priceless moulds spell new lease of life for a 1914 Delage Grand Prix car

There’s only one 1914 Delage Type-S in the world, and it resides here in Australia. In 2014, the car’s engine block cracked and spares weren’t easy to come by. Help was at hand in a mechanic’s workshop in Castlemaine, Victoria. Grant Cowie’s ‘Up The Creek’ shop took one look at the complex casting and realised the cost of rebuilding the 16-valve powerplant would be huge if using traditional methods.

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Instead, Cowie used a set of lasers to scan the block’s every dimension, the scanning data was modifi ed on a computer to digitally ‘fi x’ the cracked unit before a sand mould was created using a 3D printer. The engine casting was performed by a local foundry, installed into the car and it fi red up successfully, bringing the prized Delage back to life.

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It sounds the sort of thing that a research department in a city university might attempt rather than a traditional workshop where chisels and planes get as much action as spanners and screwdrivers. We’ll have more on this car next month, when Jon Faine gets up close and personal with it. Stay tuned.

It’s a heck of a story.

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