For the techies – forming a racing block from billet aluminium


I’m constantly amazed when I see the things people can do with the right tools. They always make me feel like a complete idiot, but in the nicest possible way.

If you’re like me and have absolutely no idea about the real work done to build components, then here’s your insight. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


7 thoughts on “For the techies – forming a racing block from billet aluminium”

  1. Haha it’s Dave Cindrich, I know that guy! (the one operating the machine) He makes some ridiculously cool alumninum skateboards. We use a CNC mill similar to that at work, and I’ve designed projects like that where we advance prototype cladding panels for production. This is the future of construction, and I’ve always wondered how it would work to build an engine. What’s crazy is how the drill has to work from the outside in and needs a clear path to bore out it’s cavities. The design is so much harder working this way, and the fabrication is like a puzzle, but it’s incredible to watch. Thank you so much for posting this!

    Not to get too techy, but I just read about how Apple is using LiquidMetal in its new designs, and how incredible it would be to use it in automotive design. I seriously would love to have a sit down with Mats or any of the other engineers to talk about what Saab is up to and how they might incorporate some of these cooler technologies into future Saabs. Speaking of which, back to the hi-po proposals, I see that Porsche has unveiled their new Panamera Hybrid. I hope that you and Red J can get out and chronicle what’s going on with all the advanced hybrids on the Geneva show floor and squeak some info (without compromising trade secrets) that Saab is up to from the engineers, or Magnus H., or whoever wants to talk ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. There is a lot of interesting technical stuff going on, software and hardware are kid of coming together right now. For instance, it’s amazing what a combination of SolidWorks (a relativily inexpensive solid modeling program) hooked up to 3D printing can do. We’re using it mainly for fast prototyping because the materials used are not strong enough, but I’m sure that in a few years materials will become available that will make it possible to make practical anything.
    Already now you can buy 3D printing equipment for $1000. That’s revolutionary because, in a cost effective way, you are able to make single items. For instance, that strange little knob that broke off your 30 year old collectible car? Well, you scan it in with a 3D laser scanner, adapt it in your favorite solid modelling program and print out a brand new version on your 3D printer. Possibilities are endless. Anyone saw The Fly?

    • I think I know what you mean-I while back I was privelidged to see a CAD system coupled to a thermosetting resin tank which had a 1.2 megapixel spread spectrum lazer on all sides (for want of a better word it used several clear prisms to beam light and heat at differing wavelengths into the substrate the substrate could also be photoreactive but we didn’t test that bit) it made impossible stuff like a rudimentary ball and socket jount which sort of worked- a ball in a box was another thing totally seamless. -it was pretty brittle a bit like bake-o-lite?? But this thing was cool and going places and that was 10 years ago-I often wonder what the modern interation of such a design tool is like. A ship in a bottle holds no wonder for me anymore…

  3. Now, that’s a lot of work for a CNC. I wonder how long it took overall…

    Nice looking car bodies in the background. Does anyone know if they are made from scratch of from an existing body?

  4. Swade, I agree totally! What people and machine can do to a solid lump of metal is amazing. We used to have a machinist at work who could make the most amazing things and was not using cnc but rather mills and lathes dating from the 1960’s!

Comments are closed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.