Stratasys, a producer of 3D printing solutions, has announced that it has been named an official competition partner of Nascar to produce the first-ever 3D printed production parts to be featured across all next-generation vehicles in the stock car racing series.
Nascar teamed with Stratasys Direct Manufacturing to print a windshield air cockpit ventilation unit for the updated car. The windshield air ducts were printed at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing in Belton, Texas on the SAF-powered Stratasys H350 3D printer which is specifically designed for production consistency, a competitive and predictable cost per part, and complete production control for volumes up to thousands of parts.
The parts were printed using Stratasys High Yield PA11, which is derived, from sustainable castor oil. The parts were cleaned, finished, dyed and shot-blasted using DyeMansion post-processing equipment.
Additionally, the team at Nascar designed and 3D printed an underside NACA duct for engine cooling at their research and development facility in Concord with the Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D printer.
“It is exciting to see the evolution of how Nascar has used additive manufacturing across their vehicles. We’ve helped them move from 3D printed prototypes to end-use production parts on their high-performance race cars,” said Pat Carey, senior vice president for strategic growth at Stratasys.
“We are honoured to be named a Nascar competition partner and to provide all teams with the first end-use production parts for their next generation cars. This partnership is a natural extension of the relationship we’ve built over nearly 18 years with Nascar teams like Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing.
“These teams have been quick to adopt cutting-edge technologies to enhance their car designs and provide performance advantages, and now we’re happy to support the expansion to all Nascar Next Gen cars.”
The new 3D printed parts provide Nascar with enhanced performance, flexibility, cost savings and improved aerodynamics, and are being used by every team that competes in the Nascar Cup Series. The parts are a culmination of nearly three years of planning, design, and development, as the next generation car underwent more than 37,000 miles of testing before its introduction at the Busch Light Clash in February.
“The next generation car could not have been completed without the collaboration with Nascar competition [artners like Stratasys and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing,” said John Probst, senior vice president for racing innovation at Nascar.
“During testing, we realized we needed an additive manufacturing solution that could withstand high temperatures and needed the parts delivered quickly. We approached Stratasys Direct, and they delivered not only as a supplier but as a consultant on this project.
“They provided us with strategic direction on design, materials, and the right additive manufacturing technologies to use to create the highest performance parts for the Next Gen cars.”
Stratasys has partnered with Nascar teams for almost 20 years to support their endeavours to create highly competitive race cars, using 3D printing technology to support tooling, drill guides and now production parts.
“Having worked with Stratasys for more than 18 years, we’re continually impressed by the quality, speed, and flexibility that additive manufacturing offers,” said Joe Gibbs, founder and chief executive of Joe Gibbs Racing Team.
“Our work together has helped move the racing world forward through new technologies that improve the sport.”