Lea-Francis on the road again

Lea-Francis is producing a car designed by Professor Jim Randle, of Jaguar XJ220 fame.

The 30/230 is moving from prototype to production tooling with the help of Coventry based 3D Scanners, who are reverse-engineering the fibre-glass concept body to provide surface data for the production panels and associated tooling. This involves scanning the prototype with a ModelMaker non-contact laser scanner that maps millions of points along the prototype body. The points are then converted into engineering surfaces using SDRC-Imageware Surfacer.

The 30/230 has a patented, self-operating, active suspension system, that senses what the car is doing and reacts by changing the load transfer to maximise the car’s handling and tractive performance. It does, in effect, what active racecar systems did with electronic control, before they were banned a few years ago. The original designs were completed in AutoCAD, but as the design progressed they were transferred to 3D SDRC Artisan to assist packaging, dynamics, evaluation and FE analysis.

The SDRC Artisan Design and Sheet Metal software was used to design the chassis. All the chassis components are made from sheet aluminium, cut by laser and folded under NC control, before being bonded and riveted, with the result that there are no assembly jigs.

Lea-Francis can manufacture and assemble the chassis with very low man-hours, and times much closer to those of high volume production than is usual with niche market products.

The 30/230 structure has achieved outstanding crash test results because of the patented, `crush initiation’ system incorporated in the design.

The aluminium bodied car is also equipped with a 235BHP, 3.0 Litre, V6 Vauxhall engine.

SDRC Tel: 01462 440222; Fax: 01462 440522; Email: Geoff.Sutcliffe@SDRC.com; www.sdrc.com

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