Video: Bentley opts to manufacture cars in silicon

The first Bentley to be designed and built completely in silicon, the £200,000 Mulsanne, will reach dealer showrooms within the next few months.

The Mulsanne is a radical change in the way Bentley makes cars. Before one nut was ordered, the car was designed and built as a 3D digital model using Dassault Systèmes PLM software.

The video shows how to fit a headlight to the Mulsanne's front wing, which features very complex surface geometry. Bentley adopted a manufacturing procedure from the aerospace industry called superforming to make the wing.

This involves heating aluminium sheets to 500ºC so that they become plastic, and vacuum-forming them onto a preformed shape. The entire process was modelled using Catia v5 computer aided design software.

Bentley then used Delmia PLM software to test part and hand clearances to make sure that the designed parts could be fitted together, as shown.

This video is now likely to become one of the several hundred similar videos generated by the software that Bentley can supply dealers and mechanics for training.

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