3D Print reports on a recently announced collaboration between Penske and Stratasys. Penske “is a leading Indy, Nascar, and IMSA racing team” who have won multiple championships over the last sixty years.
Now, though, Team Penske is utilizing 3D printing for its racing car teams. As Team Penske’s Production Manager Matt Gimbel explains: “3D printing enables us to do things we can’t do as fast using other manufacturing methods. [Among the parts Team Penske 3D prints are] wind tunnel model test components, composite tooling, manufacturing jigs and fixtures, engineering prototypes, and race car components. The team turns to 3D printing because we can design and print manufacturing and composite tools faster than machining in metal and tooling board. 3D printed prototype components can also help avoid costly mistakes in the design process.”
Speed is obviously a critical factor for Team Penske, and 3D printing helps them out with speed exponentially. This includes aiding the team in investigating the chemical makeup of their racing parts as well as the optimization of fuel flow for their vehicles.
As Stratasys VP of Manufacturing Solutions Scott Sevcik concludes: “the race track is an extreme environment where new technologies are put to the test in an effort to give the race team an edge. As a result, it’s an incredible learning environment. Race teams push the boundaries of automobile performance, and technologies who prove themselves on the track then tend to transition to the mass market to scale the same performance benefits highlighted by the race team. So yes, Stratasys FDM is proving itself on the track and in the pit [and this] is a major step toward finding our place on the highway and on the production floor. Transition takes time, so it’s not something we will see overnight, but Stratasys FDM is mature, has proven its value in these challenging environments, and is definitely making great strides into production today.”
Images and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Print