While hopefully most of us are indeed ‘following our passions’ and enjoying our careers on a daily basis, sometimes hearing about the exciting things others are doing from within the 3D printing industry can make desk life seem very quiet! There are many, many examples that will cause you to feel suddenly overly sedentary while snacking in front of your PC, from innovators showing off their products while skiing, extreme kitesurfing or maybe just skateboarding under a drone.
Ogle Models is one of those companies that certainly seems to get their share of exciting jobs as well. Last we checked in with them they were decking out a weather sea drone with 3D printed parts in the UK. That was a pretty cool gig, helping to lead the way to greater progress for compiling meteorological data. Now, it really comes as no surprise to find out that they have just finished a project building specialized 3D printed parts for a race car.
Commissioned to use 3D printing to bring a very unique vehicle further to life, the Letchworth-based prototyping company found themselves in the midst of an annual high-tech contest. Students had already worked for a full year in designing a car which would be participating in a race at the world’s biggest student motorsport race—the IMechE Formula student event, also known as Formula Student 2016. The challenge for students entering is to both design and manufacture a single-seat race car to be tested on the Silverstone race track. The car in question was to be reliable, easy in terms of maintenance, affordable to design and build, and offering high performance in functionality.
“We were pleased to be approached by the team at University College London this year as we have successfully worked with them on several occasions and have found them to be very professional,” said Dave Bennion, Marketing and Sales Director at Ogle. “We hope to work with the students when they are out in the workplace.”
“The competition is extremely prestigious and is backed by industry professionals. The aim is to help innovative engineers showcase their technical, engineering design and manufacturing skills, and we were proud to be a part of finding the next generation of racing car designers.”
The Ogle team was well aware of how much was riding on this competition for the young participants who had already contributed such monumental effort to their task. They were dedicated to producing parts to the exact measurements needed, and delivered the commissioned 3D printed parts at high specification for what were ‘complex geometries’ that had to fit exactly in place.
“We approached Ogle because we know they are one of the leading prototyping companies with an excellent reputation for high quality work,” said Tim Baker from the University College London team. “Using 3D printing in motorsport is hugely beneficial because it can produce lightweight parts from complex and bespoke designs in short time frames.”
“It was a dream come true to see our design, which we’ve worked so hard on, come to life.”
The Ogle team turned to industrial 3D printing with SLS, considering the complexity and intricacy of the parts to be made for the race car. They were aware that components such as air intakes would be extremely challenging to fabricate in any other manner. For materials, they used glass-filled nylon (PA3200) to add necessary strength, durability, and temperature resistance.
This competition, the Formula Student race, is sponsored by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and considered to be the most established educational motorsport competition. One benefit for the Ogle team as they worked on this project also was that Matt White, Prototype Solutions Engineer, has a Motorsports Degree from Coventry University and played a key role on Coventry’s Formula Student team.
Standards were very high in this competition as always, and each vehicle was forced to undergo extreme scrutiny to make sure it passed safety standards for the race.
“Our mission is to excite and encourage young people to take up a career in engineering,” said a spokesperson for the event. “It seeks to challenge university students to conceive, design, build, cost, present and compete as a team with a small single-seat racing car in a series of static and dynamic competitions.”
Over 130 university teams from 30 different countries participated this year in the FS 2016, with the winner ultimately being the team from the University of Stuttgart. Discuss this further over in the Ogle Models 3D Prints Parts for Race Car forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: Ogle Models / Photos provided to 3DPrint.com from Ogle Models]