Having been a Mini specialist since the heyday of the classic models back in the 1960s, our original intention to trade spare parts quickly saw us use our engineering nous to improve items instead. Our pioneering rigid throttle linkage being one such example. Before long, we grew to be the world’s leading Mini specialist based on our technical knowledge and approach to customer service.
But times change, and so must we. With a plethora of new technology available to us today, we have new ways of creating the parts that will replicate, improve and even customise the operations of any classic Mini.
Want to know how? Read on.
What Our Mini Specialists Use To Create New Exciting Parts
3-D printers can create pretty much anything you can think of. No matter the shape, size, material or intention of the object you want to make, using the latest software and 3-D printing machinery can make anything from ceramic cups to plastic toys, stoneware vases to fancy chocolate cakes – it’s also becoming possible to create functioning human body parts with 3-D printing!
But we aren’t here to discuss human body parts (a sentence we’d never thought we’ll write!), metal machine parts is what we do – and we make use of a 3-D printer to create them. Replacing the traditional factory production lines, a 3-D printer can create a mechanical part on just a single machine – just like how home inkjet printers replaced ink wells, a printing press, hot metal types and a drying rack.
The process starts by designing a 3-D image on a PC – operators are given instructions by Mini specialist mechanics to understand the dimensions they will need to plot. The object will then be drawn on the computer’s software and the information sent to the 3-D printer for it to be created.
The process is a little like watching a loaf being sliced – but in reverse. Imagine all the slices of a loaf being stacked against each other and combined to create a single object – that’s basically what 3-D printing is. The information given to the printer is of one whole object made from thousands of tiny pieces; the printer recreates this in physical form and builds up the layers, slice by slice. This allows for more precision to be applied – hence why it’s perfect to create moving parts like hinges and wheels.
A particular part that the Mini specialists here at Mini Sport used 3-D printing to create was a Rigid 1 piece alloy calliper; providing the brakes with an enhanced ability to slow the wheels down.
Often working in conjunction with 3-D printers, the main role of a 3-D scanner is to examine a physical object and send the data to the computer terminal for analysis. This is a particularly useful method to replicate or reimagine old Mini parts – seeing where they’re going wrong or where they can be improved.
Once the data has been received and scrutinised, a Mini specialist can then choose to edit the dimensions on the terminal before starting the 3-D printing process.
As part of our wider business, we operate a precision engineering department – M.A.D (Motorsport Advanced Development). We use CNC technology to create parts for our Mini WRC cars; finding ways to provide them with a competitive advantage at the very top level of motorsport.
CNC machines are high-precision tools that are controlled by a computer; making quick, repeated and accurate movements. They do this by taking computer-generated codes and converting them through the software to produce electric signals. These signals are what controls the manufacturing machines; providing them with the instructions that allow them to be precise and repetitive.
Thanks to their high-qualities, CNC machines are used throughout the manufacturing industry to create products – not only can they offer more precision and (through the computer software) customisation, they can create more items at a quicker pace too. One CNC does the job of a router, vertical miller, a shaping machine and a centre lathe.
As time rolls on, such technology will be used even more to create high-precision mechanical parts (and perhaps even a kidney or two!) So if you’re interested in being part of the classic Mini’s future, why not take the time to browse our excellent range of Mini parts?
The Classic Mini’s Big Future – Be A Part of It
We are constantly pushing the boundaries of development here at Mini Sport – perfectly fitting our philosophy of continuous improvement. As one of the most innovative cars of its time, the classic Mini has prevailed for all of these years, even picking up new generations of enthusiasts as it speeds along. Keeping the spirit of originals alive, whilst still seeking improvements, is vital to us.
This is why we use our 3-D printing, scanning and CNC machines to create our Mini parts and accessories. So whether you’re looking to repair your Mini, restore it with OEM parts (that are hard to come by these days in their original form) or are looking to customise your Mini, improving its on-track performance, we have everything you will need.
Please feel free to browse our website to see our complete range of Mini parts for yourself. Each product page has high-quality images of each item, as well as some additional information on their type and size.
Have any additional questions that you’d like to ask? Our Mini specialist team would be pleased to speak with you. Give them a call today on 01282 778731 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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