ETSEIB Motorsport, the automotive engineering team from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, is now using 3D printing from BCN3D to help develop racing car parts for the Formula Student competition.
Formula Student is a competition between students from universities worldwide with a focus on excellence in engineering. To enter the competition, teams are required to design, build, and test out their own formula-type racing car.
This year, ETSEIB Motorsport, an automotive team comprised of 40 industrial engineers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, started incorporating 3D printing technology from the local 3D printer manufacturer BCN3D into their operations.
Unsurprisingly, they found that the technology sped up the design phase and produced end-use parts that could be mounted directly onto the car. Better yet, the initial investment into 3D printing was fully paid off in just the first few months of usage, primarily due to the savings the team made by using the technology.
Gerard Sabaté, the aerodynamics chief engineer for the team, explains that they chose the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer to help save money and reduce lead times. The technology also helped the group of industrial engineers develop a streamlined workflow that is still being used in their day-to-day operations.
10 Years of Developing Formula-Type Racing Cars
ETSEIB Motorsport has been developing formula-type vehicles to race in the Formula Student competition for ten consecutive years. During the first four years, the team developed combustion cars, while the last six years have been spent focusing on electric cars.
By having a FDM desktop 3D printer in-house, the team has been able to cut out external suppliers and print overnight, helping to reduce iteration and validation times. This enables them to spend more time improving upon designs and developing new ideas.
The team explains that the 3D printed end-use parts used include cable ties and brake ducts. Additionally, they also developed molds to make pieces of carbon fiber. Sabaté adds that they settled on the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer due to its large build-volume and the ability to print symmetrical pieces at the same time.
At the end of day, improving the efficiency and reducing the cost of developing a formula-type car is of no use if it doesn’t help the team win. But, according to the team’s aerodynamics chief engineer, they have seen immense success since adopting 3D printing in its development process.
“During this season we have gone to three competitions. Austria, Germany and Spain. We have obtained very satisfactory results in all of them, being among the top ten positions in all of them, and finally, obtaining the prize for the best Spainish team in the Barcelona competition at the Montmeló circuit,” says Sabaté.
Perhaps it’s because 3D printing provided that final push past the finish that every competing Formula Student team needs.
Source: Press Release