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Help me help the community - spare parts re-engineering


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Hi everyone.

I'm completely new to this forum even though I've been a fan of Lotus at least ever since I bought my first Elise while playing Need For Speed as a little kid 😁 I'm sure at least a few of you can relate.

Well, I'm no longer a little kid, but my passion for automobiles has only grown greater since. This passion has led me to start work on a really, really ambitious project, but I need your help. I have access to a state of the art facility with some of the newest tech in rapid prototyping/manufacturing, and I am starting a business around re-engineering legacy autoparts, to keep our automobiles alive for us all to enjoy into the decades to come. I firmly believe that tech like metal 3D printing can save and prolong life of our beloved cars, so that is my mission. However, while the tech and the know-how is on my side, there's one thing missing for a successful start - I have to actually start. And in order to do so, I need to know what parts are the most sought after. While the idea is of course to create a part for everyone's needs, to prove the concept we need to start with where the highest demand is. That's why I'm reaching out to the community.

What parts do you need the most? Be it plastic or metal, or a combination of both, we can make almost anything, however we need to know what we're making first. I ask for your help, please tell us what you need, or what is a great need of many. Anything helps, and hopefully soon we can all forget about predatory, speculatory pricing or the dread of a part we need simply not existing anymore.

Thank you.

Edited by ReVerse
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It's hard to slag you off for "breaking da rules" as to date all you've actually done is to ask for help identifying parts people "might" want you to create. Until you have something to sell you ain't

We'll be going live with our website shortly, I'll put a link in this (thread?) with our rotary bits 😁

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VX220 interior plastic sills - these are like rocking horse shit in the community. Also VX220 wheel arch liners. 

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Lotus Esprit S1, 2, 3 and turbo B post trims

Lotus Esprit S2 and 3 electric mirror switch knob

Lotus Esprit s2 engine bay vent

Lotus Elan M100 hood header/handle 

Lotus Elan M100 B post covers

Lotus Esprit headlight covers

Lotus Esprit A post finishers

Going to be loads more if you think about parts which are available but don’t fit well due to being fibreglass replicas of ABS plastic.

Dave :) 


 

Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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Thank you @C8RKH and @LOTUSMAN33, this is great!!! I'm very happy that I got replies (and great replies at that) was worried as it's my first post haha.

Lots of interior trim huh, would've definitely not thought of that being a problem.

What about under the hood, anything hard/obscenely expensive to get there? We've gotten quite far with some internal parts of Mazda's rotaries, I know that most don't jump to replicating engine components as they're high-stress parts but from what we've seen and done it really is possible (we go really in-depth with analysis of the precise materials and processes that the OEMs used for the original parts)

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5 minutes ago, LOTUSMAN33 said:

I’m sure more members will be along shortly, do you have any examples of your work you can post?

Dave :) 

We'll be going live with our website shortly, I'll put a link in this (thread?) with our rotary bits 😁

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Good point Dan, not sure he can do rubber parts though but would be nice, I need to look at my M100 as pretty sure lots of odds and ends need improving. Original mud flaps spring to mind as well. 
Dave :) 

Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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47 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

 

Thank you for pointing this out Barry, I will message Bibs right away! Thank you @Dan E and @LOTUSMAN33 you guys are rocking it here! We can do some specialised rubbers, but we would have to do chemical on OEM rubbers to determine if it's one we can do. That's it on that I'm going to Bibs

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2 hours ago, ReVerse said:

Thank you @C8RKH and @LOTUSMAN33, this is great!!! I'm very happy that I got replies (and great replies at that) was worried as it's my first post haha.

Lots of interior trim huh, would've definitely not thought of that being a problem.

What about under the hood, anything hard/obscenely expensive to get there? We've gotten quite far with some internal parts of Mazda's rotaries, I know that most don't jump to replicating engine components as they're high-stress parts but from what we've seen and done it really is possible (we go really in-depth with analysis of the precise materials and processes that the OEMs used for the original parts)

Most engine parts are still readily available, either as per original or comparable (such as cylinder liners are available in steel rather than aluminium. Reason being, the engines were either from other manufacturers or used lots of components that were used by other manufacturers. The problems are on parts that were entirely bespoke, or were sourced form cars that were old at the time and so spares ran out.

 

Excel door mirror boots (cover the mechanical bits and the actual mirror, which I think came from a Rover SD1. Those were rubber.

Mirror bases (Later Excels and Esprits) which came from a French car, and were used not just on Lotus but some other low volume manufacturers cars. Those were aluminum and were the sacrificial part if the mirror were to hit something like a post or another car, those bits broke first.

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3 minutes ago, andydclements said:

Most engine parts are still readily available, either as per original or comparable (such as cylinder liners are available in steel rather than aluminium. Reason being, the engines were either from other manufacturers or used lots of components that were used by other manufacturers. The problems are on parts that were entirely bespoke, or were sourced form cars that were old at the time and so spares ran out.

 

Excel door mirror boots (cover the mechanical bits and the actual mirror, which I think came from a Rover SD1. Those were rubber.

Mirror bases (Later Excels and Esprits) which came from a French car, and were used not just on Lotus but some other low volume manufacturers cars. Those were aluminum and were the sacrificial part if the mirror were to hit something like a post or another car, those bits broke first.

Awesome stuff Andy, thank you for contributing!

This is great insight on the engines, coming in we expected that to be an area to work on, but trim and rubber parts are winning. I'm looking into Lotus patents at the moment to see if I can dig up info on what rubbers they were using exactly, the compound we have for our additive manufacturing machines isn't particularly flexible. 

Please if anything comes to mind don't hesitate, this has been a better eye-opener than I could've hoped for! 

Just now, TAR said:

dry sump oil pump rotor and annulus, pump body, pump pulley. 🙂

Thank you Tim, any Esprit or a particular model?

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Lotus Esprit series 3 and Turbo Esprit window frames. 

Early Turbo Esprit door mirrors.

Lotus Elite 1975-82 window trims.

 

It's getting there......

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Rear hub carriers are apparently somewhat hard to come by nowadays. Not sure whether 3D metal printed SLM (Selective Laser Melted) parts would have the same structural properties as the cast equivalent. Do you have access to an SLM machine @ReVerse? If so can you vouch for the strength of such load bearing printed  components?

 

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