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Using 3D Printing in Motorsports for the Checkered Flag

By TriMech on May 24, 2019

TriMech’s solution partner, Stratasys, has recently signed an agreement with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Don Schumacher Racing. This agreement allows the automotive teams to leverage the Fortus and F123 series of 3D printers as part of their additive manufacturing process to stay ahead of the competition by accelerating component prototyping, proof-of-concept and finished ultralight usable components

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Over the past 20 years, Arrow SPM has been one of the premier racing teams in the NTT IndyCar Series. With over 70 wins, over 70 pole positions and seven championship titles, they intend to keep their record going with innovation and the use of additive manufacturing. To raise the bar in competitions, Arrow needed a high-performance material that could match the demands of strength and stiffness that carbon-filled composite materials provide. They also needed a way to create and test innovative parts quickly. The range of materials offered by the Fortus 450mc and the in-office production of the F370 were the perfect solution. These printers provide supreme accuracy, ease-of-use and repeatable production. 

>> Learn more about carbon fiber from our blog post "Know Your Materials: Nylon 12CF"

“Stratasys is an elite partner, allowing us to transform typical manufacturing processes with 3D printing by learning on race day and implementing by the following weekend. We’re confident this collaboration will not only prove out in the shop – but produce wins on the track.” said Jon Flack, President, Arrow SPM.

FDM 3D Print Arrow SPM Automotive with Fortus 450mcFDM 3D Print Arrow SPM Automotive with F370
(Photos: Business Wire)

Don Schumacher Racing

With more than 300 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) event titles and 17 world championship wins, Don Schumacher Racing is no stranger to innovative engineering. The ability to produce parts and prototypes quickly and accurately in-house keeps them ahead of the competition. The production arm of Don Schumacher Racing is currently leveraging both the Fortus 450mc and F370 3D printers, as well as the Stratasys catalog of high-performance materials, to quickly produce parts at the highest level of tolerance the environment demands.

>> Download our High Performance Materials Guide to learn how several different thermoplastic groups compare regarding mechanical, chemical and thermal properties.

FDM Additive Manufacturing Auto Racing (Photo: Business Wire)

Key applications for additive manufacturing by the team include: chassis or weldment fixturing, prototype development, final design proof-of-concept, and finished ultralight usable components. Scott Cutler, Senior Manufacturing Engineer at Don Schumacher Motorsports said “With Stratasys 3D printing in place, anytime a crew chief has an idea for a project or concept part, we can design it, print it out, and test fit and function rapidly at a low cost – whether it’s a prototype or final part. Thanks to 3D printing, we’re able to be more innovative – which equals consistent performance on the track.” 

Pat Carey, Senior Vice President at Stratasys, summed up the importance of FDM in the automotive industry by saying, “Competitive racing is the ideal test track to demonstrate the power of FDM technology. At Stratasys, we provide the industry’s only tested solutions that win in high-requirement environments – again and again.” 

Want to know more about how additive manufacturing is being used in the automotive industry? See how BMW is expanding their FDM applications into other areas beyond the vehicle design prototyping in this case study "Direct Digital Manufacturing at BMW".
Download Full Case Study