Audi R18 replica debuts at the grand opening event of Audi Boundary in Burnaby, BC Canada
July 5, 2016
How long would it take to create a 10 ft long 3D replica of an Audi R18 Le Mans prototype racing car?
Digital fabricators, Imagine It 3D took only 3.5 weeks to go from a 3D CAD model to the shipping crate and off to BC from their Mississauga, ON Canada based facility arriving early on the morning of set-up for the event, on time and as promised.
In late May of this year, Imagine It 3D was approached by Will Fong Associates on behalf of OpenRoad Auto Group to create a 1:1 scale model of the 2012 Audi R18 Le Mans racer from the 3D CAD model he had. Will wanted the Audi replica as a major piece for the grand opening event he was organizing for OpenRoad Auto Group's newest location, Audi Boundary of Burnaby, BC.
There was not enough time before the event date to create a replica of the car at that size. Will asked Bruce Playfoot, Director of Sales & Marketing at Imagine It 3D, how big could they make the car within the allotted time-frame? "The 3.5 week deadline simply meant there was not enough time to produce a full size model of the Audi but it was certainly a project we wanted to take on." said Bruce. When he and company founder, Shaun Walker discussed the situation, they determined it would be possible to create a slightly larger than half-size model and still be in a position to deliver on time for the event.
OpenRoad agreed that a model of the Audi R18 Le Mans car at that size would certainly offer the impact they were looking for at their grand opening event. That's when the clock started ticking and Imagine It 3D wasted no time.
That evening the CAD file was downloaded, adjusted for size and pulled apart in preparation for CNC carving of the car body. The next day fabrication of the different sections of the car began. Imagine It 3D primarily works with EPS foam, CNC carving and hot wire cutting 3D larger than life objects of anything you can imagine.
This particular project utilized multiple materials and capabilities within the company to produce the level of detail Imagine It 3D wished to provide to their client. For example; the driver's mirrors, brake calipers, antennas and the refueling port were all 3D printed in-house. The wheel rims were vac-formed over a very complex 3D carving to speed up finishing while creating accurate looking racing wheels. The head light cavities were created to be as realistic as possible with vac-formed clear bezels over the working LED headlights.
"The working headlights feature was not part of the client's request," said Shaun Walker, "but we felt that we just had to add that extra level of detail to the Audi R18 for our client."
Audi Boundary was ecstatic when the car arrived and was immediately put on display for the event. Will Fong stated; "Imagine It 3D clearly put their hearts and souls into this project and it shows." OpenRoad Auto Group now plans to put the R18 on permanent display at the new Audi Boundary location.
So what's next for Imagine It 3D?
Full-sized vehicle models, scenic items and props for the Film industry with seasonal custom Christmas display elements and decorations soon to follow. "Every day is very different here," added Bruce, "we just never know what will be requested of us next and we always look forward to the challenge."