Caspar de Vries
Jul 5, 2017
Tucci Hot Rods uses 3D printing to create custom car parts for its vehicle modification projects. The 3D printed parts can be made in a couple of hours and - after a bit of post-processing - will be used as a final part on the custom cars. 3D printing allowed the shop to triple the speed of producing parts while cutting the costs of production with 90%.
Established in 1997, Tucci Hot Rods is a family-led custom car building shop renown for its bold modification projects. Dom Tucci, a designer at Tucci Hot Rods, used his Ultimaker 2 Extended+ intensively for their Ford Fiesta ST build that premiered at 2016's SEMA show in Las Vegas. Dom says he printed around 30 or 40 things with the Ultimaker, from rough mock-ups to actual final pieces that are used on the vehicle. He argues;
You think of 3D printing at first as just a prototyping tool, but it's an end-use process for us.
3D printing adoption
Getting started with the Ultimaker was straightforward for Dom. "After unboxing, I put it on my desk, ran one test print and started printing out parts for the car". Without access to 3D printing technology, they would have to have parts CNC'd by an external machine shop, which can be a lengthy process taking into account the long lead times associated with outsourcing. Now that they have the Ultimaker in-house, they can produce final finished parts in a matter of hours and no longer have to rely on third-party suppliers' schedules.
Dom estimates that with the Ultimaker, they've been able to triple the speed of production and cut the costs by ten times. While car modification projects usually take anywhere from 6 months up to a year, Tucci Hot Rods has been able to finish its Ford Fiesta build in just 2 months.
During the Fiesta project, the Ultimaker became a common tool in the shop, and Dom is planning to use it on every future modification project they'll take on. Tucci Hot Rods demonstrates how 3D printing can transform the way parts are made in a custom car building shop. Check out their business case here, or have a look at our Explore pages for other applications of 3D printing in the automotive industry.