HTW Motorsport BRC14 race car.
HTW Motorsport is using 3D printing to improve cost and workflow efficiencies with its Formula-type race-car.
Derived from a student project at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany, HTW Motorsport's has implemented Stratasys’ FDM and PolyJet 3D printing technologies to design and produce engine parts for different cars.
Each year, these cars compete in the global Formula SAE competition, where teams design and race small-scale formula style cars. The cars are also judged on design, fuel economy, acceleration and endurance.
HTW Motorsport used Stratasys' Objet500 Connex multi-material system and tough high-performance photopolymer Digital ABS material to meet exacting criteria required to 3D print final parts of the air box (or intake chamber) on its BRC14 race-car.
"As a university project, having access to Stratasys' advanced 3D printing technology offers us a massive boost," Patrick Harder, team engineer, HTW Motorsport, explained. "It enables us to develop the required parts much faster and incredibly more cost-effectively than we would otherwise be able to. This has delivered proven, quantifiable benefits on the BRC14's air box system, with a comparative increase in horsepower of around 10% versus the system we used two years before, We also enjoyed an increase in torque of almost 12% over the same timeframe."
3D printed air box made with Stratasys' Objet500 Connex machine.
HTW Motorsport is currently designing its next car which will launch in June and compete in this year's race season. Once again, the team is incorporating 3D printed end-use race-ready parts into its construction, with the overall objective to further improve on-track performances by reducing the car's weight.
"With the help of Stratasys 3D printed parts, we are aiming to reduce the weight of our next car by around 45Kg," says Harder. "This will see us incorporate a fully-3D printed steering wheel and fuel tank, as well as a slightly smaller 3D printed air box. We'll also be constructing a number of boxes that house the many micro-controllers on the car and expect 3D printing to deliver almost 80% weight reduction compared to using standard options from electronic suppliers."