Additive manufacturing has been used for two decades in motor sports to make concept models and functional prototypes. Today a number of top racing teams have gone to the next level by using 3D printed parts the race track. The practice has been developing for several years but only recently become widely known because many teams considered direct digital manufacturing (DDM) to be a closely guarded competitive advantage.
"Motor Trends: Additive manufacturing drives production of race-ready cars" is a Stratasys white paper that discusses the use of additive manufacturing to produce race-ready parts. In the first excerpt Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) Senior Design Engineer Matt Johnson explains how the company used a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) system to build prototypes but soon began making end use parts for racing.
SHR says that within five months of using the FDM machine, its role evolved to race-ready parts for SHR’s #39 and #14 cars. Johnson cites two examples: an oversized radio knob and custom hose ducting. The knob has a D-shaped hole for mounting onto its stem. This simple feature would have been a challenge for CNC. “To machine the small D-shaped hole would have been very time consuming,” said Johnson. “Additive manufacturing was an easier solution.” SHR’s second application is making custom connections for ducting that direct air to – and carbon monoxide from – the driver.
View or download the complete "Motor Trends: Additive manufacturing drives production of race-ready cars" white paper.