• Feb 16, 2011
The Ultimate Mill – Click above to watch video after the jump

If you're a billet aluminum fetishist, then today is your lucky day. Kirkham Motorsports loves aluminum and it uses the metal to build the bodies of its Cobra replicas and engine blocks. The engine blocks are billet pieces machined from a single block of aluminum – a 386-pound chuck of aluminum.

That piece of heavy metal is placed into a CNC machine where it's eventually whittled down to a 64-pound billet aluminum 427 engine block. The process requires 30 hours of CAD work, 50 hours of programming and finally 30 hours of machining. Put on your safety glasses and click past the jump to watch a replica Cobra heart born.

[Source: Youtube via The Knee Slider]


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  • 46 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      That a piece of art.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now that was 8 minutes well spent. Just beautiful!
      • 3 Years Ago
      You guys made for an interesting read , thanks . I also was wondering the weight after the cast iron sleeves were put in . Regardless ,still a HUGE weight savings . more than I would think for a 8 cylinder engine .
      There is an outfit that does just that , makes any part you want cnc- ed , don't remember the name , but was affordable - in the U.S.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Super cool , can't wait for the dyno test . The block looks kinda strange & naked from the side. Those old Cobra designs will never die .
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would eat billet if it was possible.
        • 3 Years Ago
        This is the dirty dirty of car porn...
        • 3 Years Ago
        That was true engine sex. Makes me reject the notion of all the wasted aluminum (unless it's recycled).

        Makes me want a CNC milling machine and large blocks of metal. Oh the beauty...
        • 3 Years Ago
        That's nice... More details on that killer looking Cobra please.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Pure BEAUTY!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great video, but for short run products like this, additive manufacturing is already competitive and will become more so year by year.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wonder how much it weighs with sleeves and main caps/bolts?

      Probably ~125lbs I'm thinkin'.

      Will be a bit stronger than poured mould block, but this has gotta be 2-3x the cost when you factor all the time for programming.

      However, gotta figure the finished product (replica Cobra) is probably $200k.
        • 3 Years Ago
        But thats assuming it's a one-off. Once the programming is done, it's done. You can make as many blocks as you can sell with those costs behind you.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is nice but looks amateur in comparison to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU32Q6QXtWQ
      • 3 Years Ago
      Machine tools is a critical industry for the US to hold on to. We need to be able to design and make machines that "make machines"..
        • 3 Years Ago
        We do. That was a HAAS branded mill. They're located in southern California in a facility you could hold a roadrace in if you stripped it out.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The way the article references the cad and CNC programming work is slightly misleading. Those 80 hours of setup are only required ONCE, then each block requires 30 hours of machine time. Once you do the design and CNC setup, you can repeat the process as long as your CNC mill is running and you have a usable billet to load in.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Machining your own drill bits = epic win.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here is a link to the CNC work for a "W16" engine. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU32Q6QXtWQ) I assume it's a Veyron block... What else could it be.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wow, double post from different people... :)
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