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Formula 1 Racing Team Uses 3D Printing For Better Performance

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Formula 1 Racing Team Uses 3D Printing For Better Performance
Formula 1 Racing Team Uses 3D Printing For Better Performance

Video: Formula 1 Racing Team Uses 3D Printing For Better Performance

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McLaren Racing is now using 3D printed solutions in the design of its MCL32 Formula 1 racing car. With the help of the additively manufactured parts, the racing team wants to implement design changes faster and reduce the weight of the car. McLaren previously partnered with 3D printing manufacturer Stratasys.

The Formula 1 racing team is now presenting a total of four parts that come directly from the 3D printer: a holder for the hydraulic line, flexible sockets for the radio cables, brake cooling lines made of carbon fiber and a tailgate extension.

Flexible socket ensures more driving comfort

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McLaren recently built a 2-way communication and data system in its racing cars. However, its cables distracted the driver too much. The solution was a rubber-like 3D printed socket, in which the cables for the communication system are brought together. To find the best solution, Stratasys printed three different designs in one day, the best of which was ready for use within two hours. McLaren was able to use the jack at the first race in 2017.

Stratasys printed the bracket for the hydraulic line in the MCL32 racing car using FDM technology. According to the 3D printing manufacturer, the part could be produced in four hours - the production without 3D printing takes up to two weeks.

Cool brakes thanks to 3D printing

Brakes are important components in a racing car, and they get hot quickly at such high speeds. Therefore brakes must be cooled efficiently. For this purpose, Stratasys printed so-called composite sacrificial tools. The soluble cores are coated with carbon fiber reinforced composite material and cured at high temperatures. The result is a tubular structure with smooth inner surfaces. These are necessary to ensure the necessary air flow to the brakes while maintaining aerodynamics and vehicle performance.

Last but not least, the 3D printing manufacturer printed a tailgate extension to increase the rear downforce. The component was finished in three days and saved the racing team a lot of time in a critical, time-limited test phase.

3D printer at the race track

"We're constantly improving the design of our Formula One racing cars," said Neil Oatley, head of design and development at McLaren Racing. “That's why it's so important that we can quickly test new designs. We can also use 3D printing to make more complex parts,”said Oatley.

McLaren also plans to use a 3D printer for racetrack tests directly on the racetrack, the company reports. This enables the team to manufacture parts and tools as required.

Stratasys also hopes to benefit from the partnership: "Formula 1 is one of the world's best test benches for our printed manufacturing solutions," said Andy Middleton, President of Stratasys EMEA. "We believe that this will enable us to develop new materials and applications that will bring new potential to automotive designers and manufacturers." (Kj)

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