Given its distinctive means to provide small numbers of specialty parts shortly and cost-effectively, it’s no shock that 3D printing is being more and more utilized to the world of motorsports. The newest consumer is CUPRA Racing, the motorsports division of Volkswagen Group’s Spanish subsidiary, SEAT. To design, take a look at and produce components for its new Leon Competición, CUPRA relied on the Jet Fusion 5200 from HP.
To hurry up the event of the CUPRA Leon Competición, the racer model of the brand new 2020 SEAT Leon, the design staff turned to 3D printing. This made it attainable to quickly iterate and take a look at new options, which was notably necessary as the event of the racer and its manufacturing equal happen concurrently. Due to this fact, any modifications that have been made throughout the design of the manufacturing Leon may very well be applied within the Competición model. Components printed by the staff included the steering wheel’s middle management module, the bonnet air vents, door mirrors and the brake and water-cooling inlets.
Racers have quite a lot of specs that differ from conventional road automobiles. Within the case of the TCR Worldwide Sequence of races, nonetheless, the door mirror really should have the identical form because the manufacturing model of the automobile. The CUPRA staff maintained the form of the construction however added nice performance by incorporating an air consumption that had the advantage of cooling the driving force.
Throughout the wind tunnel, the 3D-printed components have been verified to make sure that they might carry out with the identical effectiveness as historically manufactured parts. Testing was then carried to the observe earlier than the official launch of the automobile on February 20, 2020, which coincides with the inauguration of the CUPRA Storage, the brand new headquarters of the racing model.
The Leon Competición will hit the racing circuit on the Portimao observe in Portugal, the place the true high quality of the 3D-printed components will likely be put to the take a look at. In the meantime, clients thinking about buying the racer might be pre-booked, a primary for touring race automobiles (closely modified street automobiles). A batch of 10 items has been made accessible for pre-order and will likely be delivered on the CUPRA Storage in Barcelona, Spain in April 2020.
Whereas 3D printing could also be new to CUPRA, AM has been a regular characteristic of motorsports for a while. Different situations embody McLaren’s use of Stratasys know-how for track-side printing, Nissan’s implementation of 3D printing for prototypes and finish components, and Crew Penske’s use of Stratasys’ new carbon fiber filament 3D printer for producing jigs, fixtures and prototypes. An extended collection of Formulation 1 groups depend on AM, comparable to Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Sauber. Quite a few pupil groups have relied on 3D printing for their very own motorsports tasks, as effectively.
Maybe one of many extra fascinating examples is BMW’s use of metallic 3D printing to water pump wheels for its German Touring Automobile Masters (DTM) automobiles. BMW started 3D printing this half utilizing laser powder mattress fusion again in 2010, changing a multi-piece plastic meeting with a single-unit metallic unit. As of 2015, BMW had 3D printed 500 water pump wheels for its DTM race automobiles and Z4 GT3 buyer automobiles.
Actually, for an organization as new to AM as HP, motorsports aren’t even all that new. An Aussie race staff known as Triple Eight introduced its use of Multi Jet Fusion earlier this month.
The appliance of AM in racing is a pure one, given the excessive value these high-performance components would generate if made utilizing standard manufacturing strategies. And, because the CUPRA staff realized, 3D printing is able to the fast iteration vital for designs through which each minor enchancment might shave milliseconds off of the end time. So, with regards to motorsports, the query isn’t who’s utilizing 3D printing. It’s who isn’t?
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