3D printing helps improve on-track performance
HTW Motorsport is enjoying improved cost and workflow efficiencies - as well as increased on-track performance - with its Formula-type racecar, by using Stratasys 3D printing technology.
Derived from a student project at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany, HTW Motorsport's success follows an ongoing relationship with Stratasys, leveraging a mix of both FDM and PolyJet 3D printing technologies to design and produce engine parts for different cars. Each year, these cars participate in the global Formula SAE competition, where teams design, build, test and race small-scale formula style cars, which are also judged on their design, fuel economy, acceleration and endurance.
Most recently, taking advantage of Stratasys' Objet500 Connex multi-material 3D Production System, HTW Motorsport used Stratasys' tough high-performance photopolymer Digital ABS material to meet exacting criteria required to 3D print final parts of the airbox (or intake chamber) on its BRC14 race-car.
Patrick Harder, team engineer, HTW Motorsport, says that 3D printing of complex parts is the fastest and preferred way of manufacturing race-ready airboxes. "As a university project, having access to Stratasys' advanced 3D printing technology offers us a massive boost," he says. "It enables us to develop the required parts much faster and incredibly more cost-effectively than we would otherwise be able to."
Adds Harder, "This has delivered proven, quantifiable benefits on the BRC14's airbox system, with a comparative increase in horsepower of around 10% versus the system we used two years before, We also enjoyed an increase in torque of almost 12% over the same timeframe.
"We noted that the use of Stratasys 3D printing technology offers a key advantage in the construction of the BRC14's airbox. A well-designed airbox will draw air more efficiently and effectively into the engine and thus improve performance," explains Harder. "The role of 3D printing is fundamental, as it allows us to create a functional prototype which then becomes part of the final race vehicle."
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