Altair, a company offering technology and services for business and engineering innovation, has used topology optimisation, Materialise software and 3D printing to minimise the volume of a solid, race car brake pedal.
The original, rough topology-optimised brake pedal was redesigned in CAD manually to prepare for production using conventional manufacturing methods. However, redesigning organic models using this method can be time-consuming, difficult and in this case meant that the brake pedal was still not as light as it could be.
However, the arrival of 3D printing means it is no longer necessary to design within the constraints of conventional manufacturing methods and manual conversion to CAD has become redundant. Therefore Altair choose to important the design into Materialise’s 3-maticSTL software in order to clean up the file and redesign for 3D printing.
The software was used to smoothen the design, remove artefacts, fix file errors, flatten surfaces and straighten edges. After the smoothing process, 3-maticSTL was used to add thickness to the regions that were too thin for 3D Printing and to create rims on the pedal. With the texturing module, a functional texture was then applied on the pedal to improve the grip.
The result was a part that is equally as strong and features the same bending force as the original designed for conventional manufacturing.
Altair no longer needs to reconvert organic-looking, topology-optimised designs back to CAD. Using Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing technology, they can create models with complex free-form structures that are strong and light. In fact, this brake pedal designed for 3D Printing is 20 % lighter than the one designed for conventional manufacturing methods. The design process is shorter and because tooling is no longer required, production time is reduced as well.
The 3D printed race car brake pedal will feature on stand H48 in the 3D Printing in Action showcase alongside the 3D printed model of the Britannia-Upon-Globe mascot for the King’s car and pieces from other key industries including heritage, jewellery, medical and design. Visitors can register for free.