Hack Rod will build the new prototype from custom-welded parts and already-manufactured components, which will be assembled by Action Vehicle Engineering, a local hot-rod fabrication shop in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. But the process of procuring parts can get complicated—a car requires tens of thousands of individual parts, from tires and seats down to the smallest screws. It can also be difficult to source custom-manufactured components: For example, generatively designed parts often have complex shapes that can’t be easily fabricated with traditional machining. For the next iteration of the chassis, the team plans to turn to 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. With 3D printing, any part can be manufactured to exact specifications—no retooling is required, and you can cost-effectively create one piece or a thousand.
Navigating this process, Hack Rod saw an opportunity to streamline parts procurement and fabrication with a cloud-based supply chain. "We're exploring a network of manufacturers, from traditional fabrication shops, CNC shops, and wood shops, all the way through to the very cutting edge of manufacturing," Holst says. The team’s objective is to be the catalyst for building a supplier network that hot-rod builders can access via the cloud to fabricate their own vehicles.