For Harley-Davidson aficionados, No-Limit-Custom from Hüffenhardt in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, is well known as a provider of individual solutions. Their custom designs and special parts win over customers with their elegance and, thanks to their top quality, have a high degree of fit accuracy. Now the premium manufacturer has expanded its spectrum with a new concept – this time, on four wheels – that will delight every sports-car enthusiast.
Project management in the design process
The decision for the right project partner was easy, because they’d already had such good results with Tebis.
Looking more closely at No-Limit-Custom's success story, one immediately realizes that they don´t just sell their services, they live them. Since 1993, they have developed and manufactured high-end custom bikes, and in 2004 they enhanced the first Harley Davidson V-Rod and established the No-Limit-Custom manufacture. By now, the company´s wealth of expertise encompasses not only motorcycle enhancements but also prototype and small lot manufacturing as well as die and mold manufacturing. But the best is yet to come for company owner Holger Schnell and his team. Driven by passion and the desire for perfection, they continuously develop and improve their own ideas. That’s how another innovative and ambitious goal gradually took shape. The idea was to equip Porsche cars – with their highly precise and reliable motors that perfectly match the company’s high standards of the company – were to equipped with an exclusive "Aerokit" and forged wheels. A totally new product line was created. It all began in January 2012.
The No-Limit-Custom team knows exactly what it takes to make a first-class car. With 500 horsepower and a top speed of 303 km/h in its turbo variant, the Panamera GP-970 2012 was certainly fast enough.
But the car’s entire "outfit" – which is billed by the relevant trade magazines as fully "family capable" with its four full individual seats and a trunk cargo volume of 432 liters – was going to be completely redesigned to be livelier, sportier and more spectacular. The result is remarkable: The car has been totally restyled, from the front spoiler and hood and side skirts and roof spoiler to the rear bumper with integral diffuser. All parts are made entirely of carbon fiber. The unique signature of the NLC design can also be clearly seen in the distinctive burnished-gold forged wheels from high-strength aluminum, which are produced in-house (as are all other components), and which are significantly lighter than those of the original. The wheel rims and tires have impressive dimensions of 9.5 x 22 with 265/30-22 in the front and rear 11 x 22 with 315/25-22. It´s not without cause that the German technical inspectorate (TÜV) demands individual approvals.
The Panamera is not only highly visible – it makes itself also heard. A sports exhaust system with valve control complements the aggressive sound.
No-Limit-Custom has a philosophy of conceiving, developing and manufacturing as much as possible in-house. The company's portfolio has therefore included the production of wheels, rockers and forks since 2006. This is all enabled by several CAD/CAM workstations and the company's own machine pool, including CNC drilling and milling machines. They have also remained faithful to this concept with the Panamera, where everything from the sketch to modeling, design and NC programming, and manufacturing was all produced under the same roof.
Support was brought in for the CAD work. Because they’d already had such good experience with Tebis´ CAM implementation, and they knew that they could rely on the expertise of the specialists from Tebis and Tebis Consulting, the choice was not a difficult one. Tebis Consulting employees helped with the project for several weeks, right on-site.
Paper sketches are used as a basis for determining the form. Parts are manually cut, bonded and modeled with exacting care. A full-scale model is developed with a front spoiler, rear bumper, side skirts and hood. Only the right half of the model is finished. The corresponding parts will later be optimized and mirrored in the computer.
The model is prepared for the virtual world. All of the individual parts are removed and digitized from all sides to enable reverse engineering of all of the details.
This is where the Tebis Consulting specialists come into play. Using the Reverser, the Tebis module for rapid surface creation, the design surfaces are directly generated and optimized on the previously digitized right half of the model. When the surfaces and transitions are aligned, the part is mirrored.
The Tebis Optimizer for generating high-quality surfaces does a great job. Edges and uneven areas that were detectable on the mesh data vanish. Clear lines and design edges, smooth transitions, perfectly fitting connections and an even progression of the light lines please the eye of the beholder.
Add-on parts and wheel rims are designed according to the design concepts of No-Limit-Custom. As is often the case in creative processes, new ideas frequently occur overnight. That’s when it’s a great help to have the project partner there on-site to quickly and precisely implement the design modifications the next morning.
This is actually routine work for the personnel at No-Limit-Custom. The parts are prepared for subsequent milling and the NC programs are automatically generated using the Tebis CAM software and the integrated Job Manager.
The circle is complete. From the virtual world back to reality. The molds for the add-on parts are manufactured in the in-house machine room.
The first parts are adapted and gap dimensions are checked. The thorough preparatory work has paid off. All add-on parts fit seamlessly! The vehicle is then painted and coated. The combination of exposed carbon and a gray base color ensures a very elegant appearance.
With its full approval by the German technical inspectorate (TÜV), the GP-970 2012 is especially unique in this industry. The sports car was driven directly to this year's Tebis Open House in Martinsried, where it was a fascinating highlight of the event.
Friends of premium sport cars have something to look forward to. Modification of the Porsche Boxster S 981 is already planned for the summer as the next project.