One of the oldest and biggest 3D printer manufacturers in the world is Stratasys, and you don’t get to be one of the best without constantly working on innovative projects with companies in a variety of fields, from military and medical to art and history, even creating a 3D printed Oscillation Dress for New York Fashion Week. Now, the company is going to the races: to bring additive manufacturing to the track, it has announced a new four-year partnership with McLaren Racing.
“We’ve already established an extremely close and fruitful relationship with the team at Stratasys, and I’m personally looking forward to expanding that relationship in the future,” said John Cooper, commercial and finance director of McLaren Racing. “Stratasys’ expertise in the rapid tooling and manufacturing arena is second to none, and we firmly believe that we can forge a partnership that will prove extremely valuable to both of us.”
New Zealand race car driver Bruce McLaren founded the legendary racing team back in 1963, and he recently celebrated 50 years of Formula 1 racing in Monaco this year. McLaren Racing has won 20 world championships and over 180 Grands Prix, but the McLaren Technology Group is much more than racing: it produced the original supercar of the ’90s, the McLaren F1, and McLaren Automotive has introduced a series of high-performance cars, which includes the McLaren P1.
McLaren Applied Technologies works out business partnerships that can best channel its high-performance design and simulation system expertise, and “develops, builds and services control units for the entire Formula 1, Indy Car and NASCAR grids.” That’s where their partnership with Stratasys will come in handy.
Eric Boullier, racing director of McLaren Racing, said, “The ability to rapidly model, build and evaluate new components is an invaluable asset for any fast-moving and dynamic racing organization. But our new partnership with Stratasys will not only increase our output in that area, but also allow us to dynamically explore and utilize the cutting edge of Stratasys’ new 3D printing innovations and solutions. It has become clear that motorsport’s reliance on rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, and the ability to radically cut time to market, is increasing, and we look to being well served by our new alliance with Stratasys.”
Stratasys will work as the Official Supplier of 3D Printing Solutions to the McLaren Honda Formula 1 team, and provide the team with additive manufacturing and 3D printing solutions. The company will assist the Formula 1 team in elevating its capacity for rapid manufacturing at the McLaren Technology Center in Woking, UK. In a way, Stratasys will operate as a 3D printing pit crew for McLaren Racing.
Ilan Levin, Stratasys CEO, said, “We’re delighted to be working with such a restless, visionary and ambitious partner. McLaren Racing will be leveraging our nearly 30 years’ of 3D printing and additive manufacturing experience to stay at the forefront of motorsport technological development. Stratasys will also gain invaluable feedback and insights from working with ultra-high performance automotive applications, which we can then apply to our mainstream automotive and aerospace customers. Equally, McLaren Racing will benefit from the superior productivity, engineering precision and wide gamut of materials that come with our 3D printing solutions. We look forward to developing a very close working relationship with McLaren, particularly between our respective application and engineering teams.”
Under the new agreement, McLaren Racing will receive the latest FDM and PolyJet-based 3D printing solutions from Stratasys, as well as innovative materials that can be used for both functional and visual prototyping. Stratasys will also supply production tooling, including composite tooling, and customized production parts. This will allow for accelerated delivery, while at the same time ramping up the performance and productivity in McLaren’s manufacturing and design operations.
“The speed and technological precision required to be the best in Formula 1 is a perfect fit for Stratasys,” said Andy Middleton, Stratasys President EMEA. “The two companies share a deep passion and commitment to push the technology envelope, as we prepare to define the new frontier of 3D printing for Formula 1. We look forward to developing a very close working relationship with McLaren, particularly between our respective application and engineering teams.”
One of McLaren’s racing champions was Ayrton Senna, who passed away in 1994, and whose life on the track was memorialized earlier this year in a 3D printed RC car in the form of the prolific driver’s 1993 McLaren MP4/8, known as as one of the most beautiful Formula One racing cars ever. Discuss in the Stratasys McLaren forum at 3DPB.com.