The automotive industry has embraced the benefits of 3D design, whether in improving methods for making parts, or designing vehicles that are completely 3D printed. The realm of racing has also been impacted worldwide as designers and engineers have realized they now have the ability to fabricate parts when and where they want, change them easily and affordably, and in some cases look forward to stronger or more lightweight components that would not have been possible otherwise.
NASCAR drivers like Brad Keselowski realize the strength 3D printing is bringing to their industry—but he’s not ready to give up all the details on one of their technological secret weapons! We do know, according to a recent interview with Sport Techie, that he has been racing with 3D printed parts in race cars, with one just last year featuring metal components.
“Everyone’s lost sight of what’s going on right here, and it’s going to change the world dramatically in a very quick time,” Keselowski says. “It’s going to touch people’s lives in so many different ways — some they know, some they don’t.”
Expediency in production is a major benefit to the design and 3D printing process, allowing for high-performance parts to be made much more rapidly, and with less third parties involved in production. Keselowski points to Toyota’s technological and manufacturing prowess, especially in connection with Monster Energy Cup champion Martin Truex Jr., the driver for the Furniture Row Racing team:
“I would say that the team that won the championship last year won the championship because of their manufacturing prowess, which included additive technology.”
The famed driver recently attended GE‘s Industry in 3D event and sat on a panel regarding additive manufacturing in the automotive industry. Also on the panel were Ron Daul, GE’s chief manufacturing engineer for additive, and Dominik Rietzel of BMW. There were also displays such as:
- 3D printed fashion from Alexis Walsh and Justin Hattendorf
- Adidas Futurecraft shoes with 3D printed insoles
- 3D printed golf club drivers
- A 3D printed bike
- 3D printed skateboard parts
Keselowski’s interest in and understanding of 3D printing reaches far beyond the impacts to NASCAR.
“It’s going to completely disrupt the manufacturing landscape,” he adds. “Manufacturing, by nature, isn’t sexy. But manufacturing in general is a big part of the economy in a lot of ways. It’s a big part of sports. It’s a big part of automotive. It enables our lives. I can’t think of a single manufacturing industry that this won’t touch in some way.
“Additive is going to win the long game, and it’s going to win big.”
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Source: SportTechie / Images: Amy Pinard Photography/GE]