Bugatti Type 35 Case Study

Award winning world 1st!

World first! 3D Engineers creates every part of the iconic Bugatti Type 35 in a CAD programme. Believed to be the first time a vehicle has ever been created in this way! No detail spared: the re-creation includes detail down to every nut and bolt. Data translated from plans, sketches, measuring original parts, pictures and 3D scanning contributed to the completion of this huge undertaking.

3D Engineers was looking for a magnum opus project and, after hearing that The Bugatti Trust had most of the plans for Bugatti cars, arranged a visit. It was not expecting too much, but the Trust was swept up in the potential of this mad idea. After initially buying some plans from the Trust, it shortly agreed to supply the plans for free. After some years, with the scope of the project expanding through the necessity to include 3D laser scanning of the Beaulieu Museum Lyon GP car, parts delivered to be converted by traditional methods and much else, the car became an incredibly complicated design jigsaw to complete.  On completion, however, there is now a record of how the car, in 1924, should have been. Reviewing the momentous task of this self-imposed project, 3D Engineers’ feelings are that details such as fuel tank locator information, wheel treatment roughcast and not polished and items such as cross member painting will help existing cars be converted back to correct versions if required. Yes. Most are wrong, but happily still exist. Preserving history was the goal and having gathered the information the few remaining early cars can revert to original if the owners require.

The “Experts” said it was not possible

The Bugatti Type 35 reverse engineering project started in the era of 32-Bit computing. Ambitious was an understatement. Experts and pundits believed the idea was mad and impossible, but ultimately the goal was achieved.

A collaborative effort brings success, press coverage and awards

3D Engineers was the translator of the information, but the project could not have completed without the help and enthusiasm of many people. We won’t name them, but it is only fair to say that they are mostly members of The Bugatti Trust to whom the largest of gratitude is required. The project has garnered features in Octane and led to an Innovation award from Octane magazine. Much other press and critical acclaim also followed.

Where from here?

Every nut, bolt and feature is now created and recorded in a 3D program. On a personal level, this leaves us with a conundrum: believing in the protection of copyright and trademarks and therefore creating a replica and putting on a Bugatti badge is not on our agenda. Therefore, only two options remain: an approved replica or manufacturer approved design even though designs themselves are way out of any Intellectual Property (IP) restriction.

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