Tucci – Efficient production and more flexibility in design

Case Study

//Tucci – Efficient production and more flexibility in design
Tucci – Efficient production and more flexibility in design2018-12-07T15:27:48+00:00

3D printed car components for time and cost savings

3D printing has enabled Tucci Hot Rods to produce customized car components that are used to modify and build custom vehicles for their clients – all to exceptionally high design standards and in much less time than was previously possible.

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Tucci Hot Rods

Tucci Hot Rods – Introduction

Established in 1997, Tucci Hot Rods, Marcy, New York, has been producing customized, speciality vehicles for over twenty years. By combining its strong reputation for boldness and creativity with impressive technical prowess at sheet metal and custom car part fabrication, Tucci Hot Rods has helped to grow a speciality automotive niche into a world-recognized movement. Car modification is complex. It involves changing so many surfaces that there rarely is a ready-made, off-the-shelf component that seamlessly matches the rest of a custom design while meeting the company’s high standards for fitment and quality. Creating the perfect custom part takes time and can become prohibitively expensive, especially if traditional machining and CNC milling techniques are used. These restrictions inhibit creativity and reduce the quality of the final build

“3D printing has allowed us to quickly make a high-quality part that can be used as a functional piece. It has also allowed us to test the waters for possible manufactured products. Due to the nature of this work, prototype iterations wouldn’t be possible in the same way when working traditionally.”

Dom Tucci, Tucci Hot Rods


Before 3D printing, Tucci Hot Rods would fabricate custom aluminum or plastic parts using laser cutting and CNC milling techniques, or create custom pieces by hand. Both processes are expensive and time consuming. Also, there is no way of ensuring that a newly-created piece will 100% fulfill its purpose. Iterations can involve starting the process from scratch; resulting in wasted time and money.

Designing a CAD model of custom Ford Fiesta ST headlights
Assembling and testing customized 3D printed Ford Fiesta ST headligh


3D printing has allowed Tucci to speed up and refine the entire production process, from design and testing, through to production and post-processing. Staff moves seamlessly between design and testing; using their 3D printer to create prototype parts and then produce refined final pieces that are then sanded, painted, and installed. Later in the process, the team also uses their 3D printer to manufacture detailed painting templates, bezels, trims and painting shields, all of which help to achieve the final look of the car


With 3D printing, the Tucci team works three times more efficiently; and in their business, time is money. Tenfold savings have been made in producing test part iterations, which in turn, has encouraged greater creativity and raised production standards. Their Ultimaker has also reduced waste, decreased the costs of custom part production and opened up further expansion possibilities for the company in the area of mass- manufactured templates and products

With 3D printing, Tucci can make many more custom parts per project than is possible using traditional model making methods

Cost and Time Saved using 3D Printing

In the custom car business, cost depends on many factors. From designing and producing a custom piece, which may require different combinations of raw materials and time, to the labour involved in installing and finishing that part, the variables make it difficult to measure. The company estimates they save as much as $500 per part using 3D printing methods instead of purchasing machine-made, aftermarket solutions. The estimated production costs of the hood vents for a Ford Fiesta modification project are given in the table to the right.

Traditional model making


Ultimaker 3D printers

Iterations 1/part Iterations 1/part Iterations 10/parts
Costs (incl. initial outlay, materials) $3,000/part Costs (incl. initial outlay, materials) $500/part Costs (incl. initial outlay, materials) $15-$17/part
Delivery time 40 hrs/part Delivery time 3-4 weeks Delivery time 12-24 hrs/part
Post-processing* (sanding, painting, finishing, rework, installation) 5-8 hrs/part Post-processing* (sanding, painting, finishing, rework, installation) 4-7 hrs/part Post-processing* (sanding, painting, finishing, rework, installation) 6-9 hrs/part
* Post-processing is an important stage in the production process as the parts are used as final components on the cars.

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Implementing a new technology can be a painful experience, slowing down your core business and not returning results immediately.  Let our team take your headaches away, our knowledge of integrating 3D printing into different industries and applications is second to none. We’d love to hear about your project and help you find the right solution.

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