Stratasys, Champion Motorsport team up to test 3D-printed core technology

Champion Motorsport racecar built with 3D printed composite aerodynamic components from Stratasys

Stratasys 3D printed 16 complete factors for Champion Motorsports’ not too long ago modified Porsche racecar. The largest component (pictured) was a 7 x 5-foot rear diffuser check prototype, for which Stratasys printed a sandwich main from Ultem 1010 plastic (proven in gold) that was then wrapped in carbon fiber prepreg. Photograph Credit, all pictures: Stratasys

On June 27, a modified 911 Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport car or truck from Winner Motorsport (Pompano Beach front, Fla., U.S.) concluded very first in the Time Attack 1 Division of the 99th Pikes Peak Global Hill Climb in Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S.

Just one of the secrets and techniques to the team’s results was the car’s aerodynamic constructions — the wings, underbody strakes, diffuser and other components on the vehicle that go air a lot more competently about the automobile as it drives. Quite a few of these elements were being 3D printed by husband or wife Stratasys (Rehovet, Israel and Eden Prairie, Minn., U.S.), which include the prosperous first software for a new toolless, carbon fiber-wrapped sandwich main technological know-how.


Proving out 3D-printed tooling and main technologies

Winner Motorsport has been a purchaser of Stratasys for many many years, “but the partnership has turned into a lot more than the usual vendor/client marriage,” states Allen Kreemer, senior strategic applications engineer at Stratasys. For case in point, Stratasys and Winner beforehand worked jointly to exam a new method Stratasys experienced developed for 3D printing soluble tooling. With this technological innovation, a soluble plastic core formed for a duct or other tube-formed part is printed and then wrapped with carbon fiber prepreg. Using a soluble guidance removal tank, the printed tooling dissolves, leaving a seamless, completed, hollow composite duct.

“That was truly the starting of our partnership with Champion Motorsport, wherever we labored together to build this extremely complicated, seamless carbon fiber duct in a non-standard way, devoid of boundaries like in CNC machining or molding,” says Patrick Carey, senior VP – Americas, items and remedies at Stratasys.

In 2019, the providers made the decision to husband or wife on a undertaking to exam out a new iteration of the very same technologies: 3D-printed, carbon fiber-wrapped core that does not dissolve in drinking water, that is rather a structural main for the finished part or prototype.

Kreemer explains that for sandwich elements, functioning with and shaping core elements — whether or not versatile aluminum honeycomb, rigid structural foam or one thing else — can be difficult and pricey, demanding shaping or machining and then molding with the carbon fiber composite skins in a dedicated mildew. Stratasys prints a rigid honeycomb main applying SABIC (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) Ultem 1010 substantial-temperature plastic. “We print the actual shape to in shape on the car or truck, then basically wrap with carbon fiber, bag and get rid of, without applying a mold,” Kreemer states. “We begun with the soluble cores, which our consumers even now use, and now we have moved into these sandwich cores, which will have wide applications in aerospace and automotive.”

“We simply call it ‘toolless,’ and that’s genuinely the critical,” provides Carey. “We’ve created this application to skip the total process of making the mould and then laying up in the mould.” He notes that the elimination of tooling also will allow the shape to be effortlessly altered as needed.


3D-printed, award-profitable aerodynamics

For the Winner Motorsport task, a few various technologies went into the 16 overall aerodynamic elements that Stratasys developed for both prototyping or ultimate set up on the race vehicle, Carey points out. “We printed the Ultem 1010 [carbon fiber-wrapped] cores, we 3D printed some elements utilizing carbon fiber-filled nylon 12, and we printed parts using nylon 6 when adaptability and effect energy was necessary.”

Champion Motorsport racecar built with 3D printed composite aerodynamic components from Stratasys

The rear diffuser prototype was printed in 7 pieces, bonded, wrapped in carbon fiber prepreg, bagged and oven treated.

The premier section was a 7-foot-prolonged, 5-foot-extensive rear diffuser prototype aspect that was constructed for tests out the final element style and design. It was printed in 7 pieces on an F900 fused deposition modeling (FDM) Stratasys printer utilizing Ultem 1010 polyetherimide (PEI) polymer, bonded collectively, wrapped in carbon fiber prepreg, bagged and oven fixed. The turnaround time for the part was about five days for printing and just in excess of 24 several hours for layup and treatment: “It was particularly rapidly, and what we necessary at the time,” notes Chris Lyew, mechanical engineer at Champion Motorsport.

Prompted by the uncertainty of no matter if in-human being occasions could be held this summer season owing to COVID-19, “the project arrived on the internet past-minute, and a large amount of devices required to be addressed at the same time,” Lyew clarifies. “Aerodynamics is a person of them, and it is generally a quite time-consuming process” of developing, testing and iterating the factors, he states. Typical procedures would have to have the development of tooling, hand layup on the mildew and slicing and fitting of the core. “Without this process, we could not have satisfied our concentrate on dates for tests the auto on the observe,” Lyew states.

The car’s entrance splitter was also prototyped and analyzed in a very similar way. For the components that were prototypes, the final generation sections have been made with common tooling, but the prototype portion was made use of as a pattern for testing various iterations. Carey notes, “With a toolless system we can iterate quicker, take a look at it, then iterate quicker, test it. With regular tools, you would in no way be ready to iterate, you just make one particular and you’re caught with it. Here, we’re ready to make a real component, exam it and understand from it.”

A variety of more compact generation sections have been also made by Stratasys. For example, winglets on possibly aspect of the car’s entrance bumper were printed from 35{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} carbon fiber-loaded nylon 12, the motor vehicle facet skirts had been also printed in Ultem 1010 with a honeycomb internal fill and then overwrapped in carbon fiber.

Champion Motorsport racecar built with 3D printed composite aerodynamic components from Stratasys

A lot of of the car’s aerodynamic “strakes” — little fin-like parts that bolt to the exterior of the automobile in strategic details to help handle airflow around the car or truck — were being also printed from possibly carbon fiber-filled nylon 12 or unreinforced nylon 6. These elements are intended to be simply redesigned, or changed as necessary owing to problems or put on. “At Pikes Peak, there are pretty a couple of rough terrain options that could perhaps bring about damage, so the capacity to replace [the strakes] effortlessly was key for us,” adds Lyew. Many spare sets have been also printed and shipped for straightforward substitution for the duration of the race as needed.

Further than Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak ended up staying an great race to test this technologies, Kreemer says, for the reason that of the special setting certain to this event, which is held at 14,000 feet of altitude at the best level. “All racecars use downforce to push the vehicle to the monitor to achieve traction, but these individual cars on Pikes Peak are contrary to any other type of motorsport in the world, since they need to have seriously exaggerated aerodynamic outcomes to keep the cars and trucks down to the keep track of [at that altitude].” The result is bigger wings and other aerodynamic components than would be applied on any other sort of racecar.

Going ahead, Stratasys plans to introduce its toolless printed main technological innovation to other racing providers for very similar aerodynamic areas. Carey states there are numerous other probable apps in small-quantity automotive, recreational maritime or even inside aerospace sections in future as properly. “Any application that calls for iteration or a customized style, we feel we can include benefit there,” he claims.

Ellen C. McGowan

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