An ultra-rare Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 has been repaired using 3D printing technology – ahead of its debut at Goodwood Revival next week.
The Alfa is one of just 12 Tipo 33/3 models made and previously featured in the Steve McQueen film,Le Mans. Resplendent in Italian racing red, it has been “digitally restored” by Brackley-based KW Heritage.
The main issue was the Tipo’s front engine cover, which had deteriorated over time, causing ignition problems. A replacement part simply didn’t exist, so the company created one from scratch using “additive manufacturing” – also known as 3D printing.
Using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D scanning programs, KW Heritage created a digital picture of the engine cover, which was then built up using a 3D printer. The whole process of redesigning and prototyping took just a few days, and the finished part is FIA-certified.
The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 raced successfully at Brands Hatch, Buenos Aires and Sebring in 1971 and is now owned by Martin Stretton Racing. It will be displayed on the KW Heritage stand (unit 294) at Goodwood Revival, where the firm will offer live demonstrations of 3D scanning technology.
Edward Smith of KW Heritage said: “By working closely with teams, restorers, collectors and vehicle owners, we are helping enthusiasts strike the perfect balance between old and new, with modern engineering techniques keeping the cars of yesteryear on the road for longer.”