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Reverse Engineering a Ducati Carburettor in SOLIDWORKS

Friday January 24, 2020 at 11:05am

"Like all good projects, this started down the pub. I was talking to this guy who said he was missing a carburettor on his bike and I said to him, you know, we could probably 3D print one." - Nick Pericli, Technical Product Manager

Tony Rutter was one of the finest motorbike riders in the 1970s and 1980s. He won seven Isle of Man TT races, nine at the North West 200, and the Formula Two World Championship for four consecutive years (1981-1984).


His career was effectively ended by a serious accident at Montjuich Park, Spain in 1985, although he didn’t retire until 1991. This article tells a Reverse Engineering tale that started as a conversation in a pub, and ended up helping bring back what was left of the Ducati 750 TT Rutter rode in Spain.


Our Technical Product Manager, Nick Pericli, based in our Haddeham office, met mechanic, Guy Taylor, at his local pub. Guy mentioned he was rebuilding Tony Rutter’s Ducati racer bike and could not find a carburettor for it.

"This particular bike that we're looking at here was actually built up out of what was left of the crashed 750 and obviously, as anything of this sort of era, which is bespoke, is very hard to come by with parts for it. My personal history with the bike is of such of being a mechanic preparing the bike and helping with the race team.”

The aim of the project was to show the whole Reverse Engineering process right from 3D scanning all the way up to a completely finished part. Guy continues, “Nick Pericli showed me SOLIDWORKS, which I was very impressed with and then from there a 3D printed carburettor came to life.”

The carburettor was printed using a Formlabs printer and made using Standard Grey Resin. The Grey Resin is formulated is great for general purpose prototyping, design and excellent for capturing small details, making it the perfect material to help build the carburetor.

Nick explains, “We got a carburettor through a contact, we actually 3D scanned that. It's a bit like taking a photograph but it's three dimensionally accurate and the scan that I've produced for this project was accurate to about 25 micron. So it's plenty accurate enough for what we needed”.

Still the question is: would it actually work? Click on the video above or head to our YouTube channel to find out!

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