dream it then drive it using large format 3d printing

printing large objects creates experiences once impossible

Large format 3D printing of a whole race car based on a brand new, unique design that’s been carefully engineered using a computer makes sense, but it takes a whole lot of dedication from a knowledgeable team that can work together towards a similar goal. It isn’t an easy task at all and to do it right you also need to learn how to do it wrong quite tediously. However, its this accrual of know -how that is showing a lot of promise in the development of new racing designs and is already starting to give a significant edge to teams that are able to apply 3D-printed auto components in adept ways.


The thing about the racing world that makes it ripe for 3-dimensional developments is that there is a genuine passion that drives professionals who are exploring large format 3d printing technology. It takes many types of talents to run a race smoothly, so as there is plenty of intricacy to go around, many professionals in the field already have an inclination to see car construction as an art that can be elaborated significantly and in of itself is a joy to explore. For many of these professionals, in the not too distant future it’s bound to become hard to avoid getting bit by the large format 3D printing bug. As a consequence this acquaintance with digital tweaking is sure to breathe new life into the industry.


There’s sure to be a race that’s just waiting to break out to see who are the first engineers to develop all kinds of specific kinds of efficient, cost-effective designs. Advancements that are proven to surpass in a variety of respects what’s already available through more traditional means of object construction are sure to tempt investors of all sorts. There’s bound to be an array of interested parties just waiting to find their niche. It makes all the sense in the world as, undoubtedly, if something works well and offers a certain attributes its sure to get some attention. A big one is longevity, that is expanding the terms of how long a particular component can ultimately last in the heat of an intense race. A whole bunch of groups, especially in racing, are sure to be eager to purchase them or adopt similar designs with their own printing units.


A great example of what large scale 3D printing technology has in store for the future of racing is also one of its very first to be tested out in the heat of a Formula competition, no light task. It participated in the Hockenheim race and was recorded as going from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in just a whopping 4 seconds and achieving a top speed of 141, not bad at all for a vehicle that was constructed largely by a technology that was virtually unknown by almost everyone a mere decade or two ago. The car in question takes its name directly from Greek mythology, Areion, an immortal horse that brings to mind the world renowned Ferrari logo. It was brought to life thanks to the expertise the engineers of Group T, a group consisting of a 16 individuals who know the nitty gritty of various aspects of race car construction in and out.


What’s also notable about the Areion is that it was developed in an ecologically conscious manner. One of the staples of large part 3D printing at the present time, as well as its most promising benefits for a more sustainable world, is the utilization of composite materials that seek to make the most of the sort that are most widely available. This is to say, instead of making something completely out of one type of relatively expensive metal, less costly materials may be mixed in. In metal printing, for example, it is quite common to use as much aluminum as possible. In the case of the Areion, the promote sustainability, but there are other environmentally friendly choices that were made such as an electric drive train and the use of bio-composites.


In order to print out automotive components a large format 3d printer is required, and the Group turned to the largest in the print giant Materialise’s repertoire, Mammoth Stereolithography that can construct the entire body of a car in one go. The cool thing is that you not only can 3D print a large frame, or shell, but all types of additions that can go with it, effectively saving you the time of having to add them on later. Another big advantage of having a large format 3D printer create the body is that it could be designed to be “intelligent” by carefully including connection points and integrated clips that make it easy to take apart for the eventual need for maintenance.


As far as the engine goes, large scale 3D printed side pods with specially designed cooling channels. One side pod has a diffuser and a nozzle behind the radiator which in effect optimize air flow through the radiator. There’s even a fan that’s installed behind the radiator to allow for this when the car slows or stops all together. As for the other side pods, it features a complex design that’s meant to produce a cyclone effect to do away with dirt and water before it has a chance to hit the engine. Another neat feature is that the Areion features a unique nose that bears a shark skin design that’s meant to cut through the air.


Large format 3D printing is a process that takes time to get used to as many engineering aren’t accustomed to working with this kind of computerization in quite this manner. The biggest obstacle has been to put competent pros in close proximity to the nature of technology to improve it as well as articulate their plans for it.  This is an important role that needs to be played to ensure that the development of this new wave of construction and design is carried out in as public a manner as possible.  Professionals need to step up and lay out different avenues that may be undertaken that in turn may be applied to various purposes in numerous industries that can benefit from them if only by becoming aware of them as general capabilities that exist out in the world.


It is then pretty easy to consider that if large format 3D printing big parts becomes as wide of a success as many people believe that it has the potential to be, within a certain group of racing teams there could end up being for them a new lucrative source of income. This new revenue is sure to be welcomed as the overhead can obviously get quite expensive and operations in this new area can grow along with a team’s specific needs. If applied correctly, this technology can put them in the very profitable position of making a name for themselves as both performers and leaders of a new industry, consequently generating an amount of attention that can really propel them well into another strata. While we may be talking about a single sector like the auto industry, the possibilities are truly endless and due to their complexity may be rather impossible to predict in terms of the limitations that may be encountered and the heights that could ultimately be reached.


What’s bound to happen is a greater variability in race car design and an increasing trend in experimentation. Possibilities to this end have been pretty limited which is pretty disappointing as innovating through new ideas should be more commonplace and the rule rather than the exception. Playing it safe isn’t the best way to familiarize one’s self with the routes of innovation. It’s very important for professionals to view the field as open to a wide array of possibility so that the imagination of designers and engineers alike may soar as high as their aspirations and their dreams.


Being able to conceive of our own cars speak to an innocence, a childlike wonder that many of us have experienced and have lost through everyday struggle. Starting designs like those of cars from a blank slate is a profound form of self-expression that should be much more common than it has come to be in a world that’s becoming more and more impersonal every single day by the very technology that should be used to elaborate our desires It’s of great benefit to cultivate it so that we don’t miss out on the potential that great minds in the field have to offer, not just from a performance standpoint,  but also from the artistic perspective, of course these two often meet, form meets function and different attributes such as aerodynamics yield some pretty inspiring results that aren’t too easy to anticipate.


Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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