Essex-based rapid prototyping specialist, Impossible Creations has played an integral role in the design and development of the reproduction of the Britannia-upon-Globe Mascot which featured on a Rolls Royce RF 14 commissioned by the Prince of Wales.
The process began in March this year when Leigh-based Ted Overton of Overton Vehicle Overhauls contacted Impossible Creations to reproduce the mascot that will complete the restored Rolls Royce RF 14, “The King’s Car”, commissioned by ￼the Prince of Wales, later Edward the 8th, in June 1921.
Overton came across the RF 14 by chance in the early 1980s. Whilst working on a series of Bentley specials, Overton found a Rolls Royce chassis amongst a pile of old farm machinery on a Suffolk farm. Of course as it was “The King’s Car”, the farmer wasn’t too quick to part with the piece when Overton requested to purchase it so he made a note of the engine number to confirm its origin and went away. The P1 register confirmed the engine matched the RF 14 and Overton spent three weeks going back and forth collecting parts scattered around the farm. After a long restoration process, the car was completed to a state of running smoothly but there was still one piece missing, and that belongs to Prince Charles – the Britannia-upon-Globe Mascot.
The process began with the 3D scanning of the sculpture held at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum. The scan data was then sharpened and shrunk from 400mm to 200m high using a Geomagic Touch Haptic Device, a multi purpose 3D design platform, and Geomagic Freeform software. These images were then sent back to Overton Vehicles Overhauls where they were checked for accuracy with Buckingham Palace.
Finally, the CAD model was 3D printed on Impossible Creations’ ProJet 3500 HD Max 3D printer to produce a master pattern in Xtreme high-definition ProCast acrylic. From this pattern, a master mould was created, cast in brass and nickel plated.
This project demonstrates the capabilities of 3D scanning and 3D printing to bring to life pieces and artefacts that would otherwise be lost. Right now museums are using reverse engineering to document important collections so they can be reproduced and enjoyed by a wider audience. Similarly, the technology is being used to replicate missing parts in restoration projects in rapid time. Earlier this year, KW Special Projects used 3D printing to complete a restoration project for an historic French sports car.