Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

In 2018, toy maker Mattel of El Segundo, California started making 1:64-scale, die-cast model replicas of fans’ custom cars, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Hot Wheels brand. Chosen from circa 5,000 entries that year, the 2019 honouree was a hot-rodded Nash Metropolitan minicar (The Nash), where the Metropolitan’s original 40hp, 4-cylinder engine had been replaced with a 300hp Chevrolet small-block V8.

Mattel’s design process would usually start with a series of sketches, although in this case Mattel designer Madison Cheung was able to use some blueprints for the original car that he had found online. Next, a digital clay model of the car was made, using a device that is also used by doctors to refine their technique and practice operations. This was followed by 3D printing prototype parts to test how well they would fit together and make any necessary design changes. (In addition to the wheels, each Hot Wheels model car comprises 4 separate pieces: the body, chassis, windscreen and interior.) Once the design was finalized, it was sent to Mattel’s production engineers to create the final product.

Including the cost of the car that was modified to make it, the real-life Nash cost circa $10,000 to build. In contrast, Mattel intend to have their version of it be in stores retailing at $1.09 by the end of 2020. Meanwhile, Cheung proclaims that he has done more than 700 different Hot Wheels designs since 2006, and hopes to be assigned the next real-car-to-toy conversion project.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

Disclaimer: Featured image of “Duncan and Fraser car factory interior ca 1925 (SLSA B-41640)” has been dedicated to the public domain by its author under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.