Few industries are as competitive as motor sports, where each week performance is measured against the competition to the hundredths-of-a-second. In this environment, tiny improvements can make the difference between winner and also-ran. The design-for-manufacturing requirements of traditional production processes can present obstacles for engineers seeking performance improvements. More and more race teams are taking advantage of the design freedom offered by additive manufacturing (3D printing) to gain a competitive edge.
"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. The fourth excerpt explains how the design freedom of additive manufacturing with FDM drives performance improvements in the team's MINI John Cooper Works WRC race car.
A final example of how Prodrive uses additive manufacturing is for the MINI’s hood vent, which was produced with FDM. Instead of a simple lip to dress the opening, Prodrive optimized the design for aerodynamics. The shape makes molding or carbon fiber lay-up very difficult, but with AM, production is simple. The vent is stiff, light, and heat resistant; it extracts air passing over the turbo and exhaust, which can run as high as 1,800 °F (980 °C).
View or download the complete "Motor Trends: Additive manufacturing drives production of race-ready cars" white paper.
View the first excerpt previously posted the week of May 28th.
View the second excerpt previously posted the week of June 4th.
View the third excerpt previously posted the week of June 11th.