In terms of ground vehicles, what’s more futuristic-looking than a race car? Their appearances are not misleading; professional race car drivers benefit from the newest technology in the designs of their vehicles. 3D printing has been used in Formula One racing for a while, and today major additive manufacturing company EOS E-Manufacturing Solutions announced that they have formed a partnership with Formula One company Williams Grand Prix Engineering and Williams Advanced Engineering. Williams, whose team has won 16 FIA Formula One World Championships, has been using 3D printing in their manufacturing processes already, but the new three-year technical partnership will allow them direct access to the newest additive manufacturing technology provided by EOS.
“The partnership will allow EOS and Williams to jointly expose selected customers to the world of Formula One with the aim of illustrating the use of AM in this technically advanced industry,” said Stuart Jackson, UK Regional Manager at EOS. “Through its Williams Advanced Engineering business, Williams provides technical innovation that transfers Formula One technology solutions focusing on sustainability and energy efficiency to mainstream industries such as automotive, motorsport, transport, energy and other sectors. As such, the partnership is a perfect fit for us as we truly believe that all parties involved will highly benefit from this interchange of ideas.”
Williams has already been using materials from EOS in their production process. Carbonmide, a carbon fiber-reinforced polyamide material known for its strength and rigidity, is being utilized by Williams along with carbon composite laminates for production parts requiring improved strength. Alumide, an aluminum-filled polyamide powder, has been used for a wide variety of stable parts for functional testing. They also already own two EOS polymer systems.
As part of the newly signed agreement, EOS will continue to provide Williams with additive manufacturing supplies and systems, and will also support the Formula One company in the development of its own additive manufacturing project. To start things off, Williams has installed a new EOSINT P 760 modular plastic additive manufacturing system, which promises to increase the company’s productivity and capacity for large print jobs with its build volume of 700 x 380 x 580 mm.
“At its core, Williams is a racing team but has many facets to its business in which opportunities for AM applications reside,” said Brian Campbell, Production Manager, Composites and ADM at Williams. “EOS can help us to turn these opportunities into performance. This partnership also holds a lot of synergies as both companies are family-owned and independent, at the same time driven by guiding principles such as innovation, teamwork and excellence.”
Williams and EOS also hope that, through their partnership, they can demonstrate the benefits of additive manufacturing and encourage its widespread adoption within the Formula One industry. With two giants of their respective industries pushing the technology, it seems safe to say that 3D printing will take a firm hold – where it hasn’t already – within professional racing. Discuss this partnership in the EOS / Formula One forum thread on 3DPB.com.