AutoXross builds cars that compete in the National Hot Rod Circuit, a professional racing series that runs in the UK and mainland Europe, with its roots based on the early years of the American NASCAR series.
Simon Smith, Company Director, and Stephen Hart, Lead Fabricator of AutoXross Motorsport Services produced a new, fully bespoke race car based on the Ford Fiesta ST. Simon was very much an “old-school” designer, preferring to work with pencil and paper, and applying his expertise as he went along. However, this often resulted in an end product that didn’t meet today’s rigorous standards, and was difficult to repeat or share due to its lack of documentation. This is where Stephen came in and brought digital CAD design.
The addition of CAD brought about a radical change in the entire production process at the firm, as it now enabled others to work on the designs, and share information as needed. It also came with a welcome degree of precision that brought the quality of the end product in line with today’s rigid standards.
But that CAD precision needs the ability to transfer it to CAM (computer aided manufacturing), and this is where the WAZER small waterjet came in. The addition of the WAZER gives them the ability to quickly and precisely cut any material in-house, saving thousands of pounds in cost and hundreds of man-hours. Besides numerous one-off parts, their work with WAZER includes:
- Very technical oil sumps in aluminum with internal baffles that create a circular flow of oil, which could never have been made before CAD and the WAZER.
- Cutting aluminum patterns for their plasma cutter to follow when cutting thick steel.
- AutoXross also uses their WAZER to cut specialized materials such as fiberglass and carbon fiber panels and fittings for the car’s cockpit. These intricate profiles would have been exceptionally difficult to create using more traditional methods such as machining or hand cutting, but the WAZER waterjet can make quick work of them, with consistent repeatability.
“We are able to iterate and perfect our designs at least twice as fast now”
Stephen said that the WAZER allows them to iterate their designs more quickly and efficiently, and they can now consider creating things they never would have been able to before, which has led to an overall increase in the quality of their products, so it’s definitely a “win” for everyone.
Speaking of winning, Stephen is quite proud that one of his cars was purchased by the eventual champion driver in Holland!