Stratasys may have spent 18 years working with teams above and below the NASCAR Network, but now that they’re a competition partner, they’ve stepped up their involvement in the sport. Specifically, the company Stratasys Direct arm has begun creating windshield ventilation parts for next-generation series cars, while NASCAR engineers have also begun 3D printing the vehicles’ engine cooling ducts.
“It is exciting to see the evolution of how NASCAR is using additive manufacturing across their vehicles. We have helped them transition from 3D-printed prototypes to production end-use parts,” says Pat Carey, Senior Vice President of Strategic Growth at Stratasys. NASCAR and to provide all teams with the first production end-use parts for their next generation vehicles.”
NASCAR’s Next Generation Racing Cars
Annually raced across the United States, NASCAR is a popular sports car series with strong roots in auto racing in the era of abolition, which has been going on since 1949. As you’d expect, in the 73 years since then, the sport has changed dramatically, with the season now running as long as 36 races. And different formats like “stage races” are introduced in 2017 to keep things fresh.
The same can be said for NASCAR cars, as the original Strictly Stock series saw participants like Glenn Dunaway drive a car Lincoln Owned by bootlegger Hubert Westmoreland, the latest sports car is more technical and, thanks to its massive EFI V8 engines, is capable of reaching speeds of over 200mph.
As with the competitive nature of motorsports, NASCAR teams haven’t always been eager to publicize the technologies behind cars, but many have been known to use 3D printing in their operations. CRP USA And the DC . Electronics They have used technology to develop NASCAR Relay Control Box Electrical EnclosuresWhile Stewart Haas Racing she has 3D-printed ergonomically optimized brake pedals.
In the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series, teams now operate a “Gen-7” or “next generation” race car, which is designed to provide downforce, transmission and cost advantages over its predecessor. However, as John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation, explains, the thermal requirements of the advanced parts required to achieve these performance benefits, made them a real challenge to build.
“During testing, we realized we needed an additive manufacturing solution that could withstand high temperatures and needed to deliver parts quickly,” Probst explains. “We reached out to Stratasys Direct, and they delivered not only as a supplier but as a consultant on this project. They gave us strategic guidance on the design, materials, and appropriate additive manufacturing techniques to use in creating the high-performance parts for next-generation vehicles.”
“The next generation car would not have been complete without collaborating with NASCAR competition partners such as Stratasys and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.”
Stratasys puts the pedal on the metal
Having already worked with teams like NASCAR Joe Gibbs Racing And the Penske . raceIt was clear that Stratasys was the perfect partner to help revive these next-generation cars. What followed was a nearly three-year research and development project, which culminated in the creation of both 3D-printed windshield cockpit ventilation modules and NACA lower ducts, which have been optimized for end-use deployment on this year’s vehicles.
The first of the PA11 was produced at the Stratasys Direct facility in Belton, Texas, using H350 3D Printer Stratasys was launched last year, before it was finished, dyed and shot Dye equipment. By 3D printing the parts, NASCAR engineers are said to have achieved a high level of consistency when it comes to quality, as well as the competitive and predictable cost of each part.
In terms of engine cooling ducts, they were produced elsewhere, at NASCAR’s research and development facility in North Carolina, taking advantage of Fortis 450mc. Together with the 3D-printed windshield modules, these parts are believed to have provided next-generation cars with significant aero performance benefits, and after more than 37,000 miles of road testing, they were deployed to the vehicles’ first run in February of this year.
“Having worked with Stratasys for more than 18 years, we are consistently impressed with the quality, speed and flexibility that additive manufacturing provides,” adds Joe Gibbs, Founder and CEO of Joe Gibbs Racing Team. “Our work together has helped push the world of racing forward with new technologies that improve the sport.”
Aiming to position the electrode with 3D printing
NASCAR isn’t the only racing series turning to 3D printing in pursuit of performance, and the technology continues to be adopted throughout the motorsport world. in Ducati LenovoThe MotoGP team is now working with roboz to me 3D printing streamline and bike shieldas part of a new technical partnership between the two.
In the world of Formula 1, additive manufacturing is also widely deployed above and below the grille, primarily to produce wind tunnel test components. Speaking to 3D Printing Industry earlier this month, Pat Warner revealed just as much 70% of the Alpine F1 bodywork is made by 3D printingIt was repeated during the test.
As you can imagine, teams racing in a number of other series are also using the technology to build their own racing cars, and in late 2020, it was announced that Chevrolet’s printed parts have driven more than 80,000 miles in the race. These parts, which include everything from oil tanks to headlight assemblies, are integrated into the brand’s vehicles CorvetteAnd the IndycarAnd the NASCAR Camaro and Silverado racing teams.
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The featured image shows Joe Gibbs Racing’s 2022 NASCAR Challenger driven by Christopher Bell with a 3D-printed cockpit air vent. Image via Stratasys.