Stratasys 3D Printing made its NASCAR Nationwide Series debut Saturday afternoon, sponsoring the No. 11 Toyota Camry, driven by Elliott Sadler of the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team, at the U.S. Cellular 250.
JGR has incorporated Stratasys' FDM 3D printing technology into their race program for more than a decade, giving them advantages in prototyping and production. The Fortus 400mc 3D Production System allows JGR to 3D print parts both for functional testing and for end-use parts for their cars.
"We started out making a few prototype pieces for motor development. Today, Stratasys supports many projects and several departments," says Mark Bringle, technical sponsorship and marketing director at JGR. "Stratasys technology has sped up the development process, totally changing the way we go about manufacturing."
Recently, JGR expanded their 3D printer arsenal by adding the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer. The PolyJet 3D printing technology allows JGR to 3D print color, multi-material parts that range from rigid to flexible all within the same build. The results are reduced costs, improved quality, improved design efficiency, increased profit and increased competitive advantage.
"The automotive industry has been quick to adopt cutting-edge additive manufacturing," says Eric Bert, vice president of sales in North America for Stratasys. "As one of the premier racing teams on the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit, JGR uses 3D printing for advanced applications including compressed engineering development cycles, critical component design optimization, jigs and fixture creation, and end use part production. We're very pleased to support the Joe Gibbs Racing team on their road to victory."
The results of Saturday’s 2 hour, 2 minute race: Sadler led the field in laps 54-60, finished 3rd highest in points (702), and finished 10th overall.