NASCAR and Toyota Select Stratasys to 3D Print Race Car Parts – 3DPrint.com
After World War II, stock car racing became one of this country’s most beloved pastimes, and although not well organized at first, a sanctioning body for stock car racing was established in 1948, called the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC, better known as NASCAR. Today, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,500 stock car races at more than 100 tracks in 48 states, as well as Canada, Mexico and Europe, each year. The parts and components of these race cars are now a major 3D printing application, and Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) has just announced that it is now a NASCAR competition partner. These two leaders will collaborate to create what Stratasys says will be the first 3D-printed production parts for NASACAR’s Next Gen race cars.
Stratasys has a long history of 3D printing parts for racing cars, from student teams and Andretti Autosport to Team McLaren and Team Penske, and the company has notably partnered with teams NASCAR for almost 20 years. During this partnership, NASCAR relied on Stratasys technology to create drill guides and tools for its race cars, and now also production parts.
“It’s exciting to see the evolution of how NASCAR has used additive manufacturing in their vehicles. We’ve helped them go from 3D printed prototypes to final production parts on their high-performance race cars. We We are honored to be named a NASCAR Competitive Partner and to provide all teams with the first end-use production parts for their Next Gen cars,” said Pat Carey, Senior Vice President, Strategic Growth for Stratasys. This partnership is a natural extension of the relationship we’ve built for nearly 18 years with NASCAR teams like Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. These teams quickly adopted advanced technologies to improve their car designs and deliver performance benefits, and we are now happy to support the expansion to all NASCAR Next Gen cars.
“Having worked with Stratasys for over 18 years, we are continually impressed with the quality, speed and flexibility that additive manufacturing offers. Our work together has helped move the racing world forward with new technologies that improve the sport,” said Joe Gibbs, Founder and CEO of Joe Gibbs Racing Team.
The Next Gen was presented this winter at the Busch Light Clash, having completed more than 37,000 miles of tests to validate its new 3D printed parts. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing printed a high performance windshield air cockpit ventilation unit on its H350 system, which uses SAF powder bed fusion technology and was designed for production control and consistency. High yield PA11, derived from sustainable castor oil, was used to print the unit, which was then post-processed using DyeMansion equipment. The Stratasys Fortus 450mc printer was used to make a lower NACA duct for engine cooling, designed by the Stratasys NASCAR team.
“The Next Gen car could not have been completed without working with NASCAR competition partners like Stratasys and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. During testing, we realized we needed an additive manufacturing solution that could withstand high temperatures and parts needed to be delivered quickly,” said John Probst, Senior Vice President, Racing Innovation, NASCAR. “We approached Stratasys Direct, and they delivered not just as a supplier but as a as a consultant on this project, providing us with strategic direction on design, materials and the right additive manufacturing technologies to use to create the best performing parts for Next Gen cars.
These 3D printed components are used by all teams participating in the NASCAR Cup Series to provide more flexibility, improved performance and aerodynamics, and lower costs.
But its collaboration with NASCAR isn’t the company’s only racing news this week: Stratasys also announced that it is an official partner of Toyota Racing Development (TRD). According to Carey, the company will support TRD in its efforts to adopt and “integrate additive manufacturing into its production as a prototyping, tooling, and end-use parts solution for GR86 and TRD custom parts.” The resulting 3D-printed production parts will be used for the Toyota GR86 in its new one-make racing series, the GR Cup, sanctioned by SRO America and coming in 2023.
To move from prototyping to end-use parts, TRD will integrate three industrial-grade Stratasys 3D printing systems – the Fortus 450mc, F370 and the new composite-capable F370 CR – into its manufacturing facilities in California and North Carolina. TRD will use these printers to create several end-use parts across its entire product line, as well as a 12CF nylon hood vent specifically for the Toyota GR86.
“Additive manufacturing has allowed us to quickly iterate, design and create parts for our race vehicles in a way that would have been significantly more expensive or labor intensive with traditional manufacturing methods. partnering with Stratasys, we are able to advance our manufacturing practices beyond what is currently possible and fully exploit the possibilities of additive manufacturing for production parts,” said TRD President, David Wilson.
Additionally, TRD is also a long-time Stratasys Direct customer and will use their services to 3D print a clamp for the GR86 on the SAF-powered H350, using Stratasys High Yield PA11.
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