This picture shows the Ford GT40 car which we originally worked on

If you have visited Perth, Western Australia, you may have caught a glimpse of this sleek, liquid grey icon of Performance Motorsports plying the city’s streets. Back in 2014 the Ford GT40 Supercar required conversion from left to right-hand drive and Routers Australia was commissioned to complete the structural work required . Think reverse engineering.

The project involved re-engineering various parts including the foot well, dash mould and centre console. Work included creating moulds, hand forming aluminium and 5-axis CNC machining, as well as digital 3-D scanning and 3-D printing.

As a point of interest, although officially named the Ford GT, this car has always been known, of course, as the Ford GT40. This was originally more of a nickname and was never registered by Ford. When they went to name their modern GT’s GT40’s someone else had acquired the copyright & wanted them to pay through the nose to use it. However the name has stuck and the legend lives on!

Then and Now…

Fast forward to August 2020; enter Project GT40 Part II. It seems that our cars’ proud owner just couldn’t get enough of a good thing. Therefore we will soon be repeating this work for a second GT40–and this time it’s liquid red. Baby! (Note: liquid grey and liquid red are two official GT40 colours)

This time we will be using some of the forms we created for the initial project such as the solid wood buck pictured below. Traditionally these are made for the purpose of hand forming metal for body building cars.

The Foot Well

The CNC Routed wooden buck for hand forming the footwell

We were able to create this buck for forming the aluminium foot well using 3-D laser scanning. With the help of 3-D CAD and CAM software programs it was then possible to machine this beauty on a 5-axis CNC Router.

Hand forming the GT40 aluminium footwell over the wooden buck

 Hand forming the aluminium sheet over the wooden buck is a time consuming job requiring skill and patience. The metal can easily be irrepairably damaged while being beaten into shape. It must be repeatedly annealed (heated to a certain temperature to soften) throughout the process due to work hardening, where the metal becomes harder and more difficult to shape as a result of the hammering. This particular job required about two days work.

After shaping, the cutouts are then done on a 5-axis CNC Machine to allow for the various cutting angles.

Below is the foot well complete with cutouts, ready to be installed.

The Central Console

Using a 5-axis CNC, the central console was machined from solid aluminium block down to a thickness of three to nine millimetres all over. This section (below) has been sand blasted ready for welding onto the rear section of the original console.

This time around the whole console will be machined from one solid block.

 The central console was CNC machined from solid aluminium block  CNC machined from solid aluminium block

In Conclusion

Watch this space. We will be posting updates and videos of our new project once we are rolling.

Editor’s note: Methinks, this happens to be a cool project for someone who was a very successful Junior when he was getting around WA’s Go-Kart racing circuit in his hand-built machine at the age of 14–16. He then went on to build WA’s first V8 powered FJ Holden when 16–18 years old. That would be our Managing Director, Graham van Zuilecom.

Routers Australia is a uniquely versatile engineering company. We will work together with you providing expert advice, knowledge and skill throughout the process to complete your project. With an extremely broad range of experience and a passion for excellence in all we do, we are confident that we will deliver solutions over and above your expectation. Contact our team for a quote today!

CNC aluminium cutting; large 20mm-thick plate with recesses and thicknesses machined.Innundated with CNC aluminium cutting jobs lately, we have just finished machining a second batch of large Aluminium components for local Perth company, Fastbrick Robotics. Their revolutionary new brick laying robot, the Hadrian X, is currently under construction to be completed later this year. This is an exciting project which we are happy to be supplying parts for.

Here at Routers Australia we offer a precision CNC machining service. Our CNC Routers are ideal for cutting large aluminium pieces or aluminium sheets such asCNC aluminium cutting; large 20mm-thick plate with recesses and thicknesses machined. these, up to 40 mm thick.

For this particular job for the Hadrian X we were cutting recesses and machining thicknesses on sheets which were 20-mm thick and up to 3.8 metres long.

You will find more detailed information and examples of our CNC aluminium cutting capabilities here.

More on the Hadrian X

This “mother” is the first part of a digital construction system set to seriously change the face of the building industry worldwide. It will allow for both very affordable housing, and incredibly fast construction.  Hadrian X’s predecessor and technology demonstrator, the Hadrian 05, successfully completed the first block printed structure from a mobile base 20 metres away in 2015. The new Hadrian X will be able to drive up, extend it’s unfolding boom and construct the walls of an average sized home in only two days.

Using bricks which are 15 times larger than standard bricks, it is capable of laying more than 1,000 per hour. In contrast to this, the “normal”  rate for standard bricklaying is around 300-400 per hour. The Hadrian X will “print” the structure layer by layer, including details such as door and window frames, stair structures and built-in robes. 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) software will ensure that every brick is right where it’s meant to be!

In the past, accuracy has always been a problematic issue with this type of machine. Changing environmental conditions such as weather, as well as compensation necessary for a very long moving boom, both present challenges. Now able to overcome these difficulties, the Hadrian X positioning system and FBR’s patented, multi-axis stabilization system work together to make this the world’s first successful mobile robot of it’s kind. Learn more about the Hadrian X here.

Keep your eyes peeled; you may soon see a Hadrian X doing it’s thing on a street near you!