When it comes to 3D printing, the two top dogs in the world are 3D Systems and Stratasys. These companies manufacture industrial level 3D printers that only some of the largest corporations can afford. The competition has heated up in the past few years with both companies trying to steal sales away from one another. Advertising and name recognition are extremely important in discovering new clientele.
Stratasys has landed quite a significant sponsorship deal, which will surely earn them quite a bit of name recognition. Tomorrow, when the U.S. Cellular 250 NASCAR race gets underway at Iowa Speedway at 8:00 PM ET, driver Elliott Sadler, will be driving a car that is sponsored by Stratasys.
The No. 11 Toyota, which will be fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), will feature the Stratasys Logo prominently displayed on the hood and rear of Elliot Sadler’s car. Stratasys is no newcomer to NASCAR, nor the Joe Gibbs Racing team. They have previously reached agreements with JGR to help them with their rapid prototyping of car parts. For over a decade now, JGR has been using Stratasys’ FDM printers to help them put the fastest cars they possibly can, on the racetrack.
“Stratasys has been a technology partner with Joe Gibbs Racing for over 10 years. We started out making a few prototype pieces for motor development. Today, Stratasys supports many projects and several departments,” says Mark Bringle, technical sponsorship and marketing director at JGR. “It is an accurate statement that the use of Stratasys technology has sped up the development process, totally changing the way we go about manufacturing.”
Stratasys is well known for their latest Objet500 Connex 3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer, and JGR has recently begun utilizing this machine as a was to 3D print parts that are both flexible and rigid at the same time, in a multitude of color choices. In turn, JGR can save significantly on costs, increase the quality of their parts, and benefit from better design efficiency. The Objet500 Connex joins another Stratasys 3D printer, the Fortus 400mc Production System in the JGR design shop.
“The automotive industry has been quick to adopt cutting-edge additive manufacturing,” explained Eric Bert, vice president of sales in North America for Stratasys. “As one of the premier racing teams on the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit, JGR uses 3D printing for advanced applications including compressed engineering development cycles, critical component design optimization, jigs and fixture creation, and end use part production. We’re very pleased to support the Joe Gibbs Racing team on their road to victory.”
So when you watch the big race tomorrow night, keep in mind that Stratasys is a company that has contributed to the technology behind the No. 11 car.
It should be interesting to see if this ignites 3D Systems’ interest in having a car in the race next year. Every little bit of advertising helps in the name recognition process. Without a doubt, there will be many NASCAR fans Googling “Stratasys” tomorrow after the race. How’s that for name recognition?
What do you think? Is this a good move on the part of Stratasys? Discuss in the Stratasys NASCAR forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video showing the car getting wrapped with the Stratasys logo below:
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