HP’s Multi Jet Fusion Shaves Seconds off CUPRA’s Leon Competición Racer

Share this Article

Given its unique ability to produce small numbers of specialty components quickly and cost-effectively, it’s no surprise that 3D printing is being increasingly applied to the world of motorsports. The latest user is CUPRA Racing, the motorsports division of Volkswagen Group’s Spanish subsidiary, SEAT. To design, test and produce parts for its new Leon Competición, CUPRA relied on the Jet Fusion 5200 from HP.

A 3D printed air vent for the bonnet of the Leon Competición. Image courtesy of CUPRA.

To speed up the development of the CUPRA Leon Competición, the racer version of the new 2020 SEAT Leon, the design team turned to 3D printing. This made it possible to rapidly iterate and test new features, which was particularly important as the development of the racer and its production equivalent occur simultaneously. Therefore, any changes that were made during the design of the production Leon could be implemented in the Competición version. Parts printed by the team included the steering wheel’s center control module, the bonnet air vents, door mirrors and the brake and water-cooling inlets.

A 3D printed side mirror mount for the Leon Competición. Image courtesy of CUPRA.

Racers have a variety of specifications that differ from traditional street vehicles. In the case of the TCR International Series of races, however, the door mirror actually must have the same shape as the production version of the car. The CUPRA team maintained the shape of the structure but added great functionality by incorporating an air intake that had the benefit of cooling the driver.

A component for the Leon Competición 3D printed using HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology. Image courtesy of CUPRA.

Within the wind tunnel, the 3D printed parts were verified to ensure that they would perform with the same effectiveness as traditionally manufactured components. Testing was then carried to the track before the official release of the car on February 20, 2020, which coincides with the inauguration of the CUPRA Garage, the new headquarters of the racing brand.

The Leon Competición will hit the racing circuit on the Portimao track in Portugal, where the true quality of the 3D printed parts will be put to the test. Meanwhile, customers interested in purchasing the racer can be pre-booked, a first for touring race cars (heavily modified road cars). A batch of 10 units has been made available for pre-order and will be delivered at the CUPRA Garage in Barcelona, Spain in April 2020.

While 3D printing may be new to CUPRA, AM has been a standard feature of motorsports for some time. Other instances include McLaren’s use of Stratasys technology for track-side printing, Nissan’s implementation of 3D printing for prototypes and end parts, and Team Penske’s use of Stratasys’ new carbon fiber filament 3D printer for producing jigs, fixtures and prototypes. A long series of Formula 1 teams rely on AM, such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Sauber. Numerous student teams have relied on 3D printing for their own motorsports projects, as well.

Perhaps one of the more interesting examples is BMW’s use of metal 3D printing to water pump wheels for its German Touring Car Masters (DTM) vehicles. BMW began 3D printing this part using laser powder bed fusion back in 2010, replacing a multi-piece plastic assembly with a single-unit metal unit. As of 2015, BMW had 3D printed 500 water pump wheels for its DTM race cars and Z4 GT3 customer vehicles.

In fact, for a company as new to AM as HP, motorsports aren’t even all that new. An Aussie race team called Triple Eight announced its use of Multi Jet Fusion earlier this month.

The application of AM in racing is a natural one, given the high cost these high-performance parts would generate if made using conventional manufacturing methods. And, as the CUPRA team learned, 3D printing is capable of the rapid iteration necessary for designs in which every minor improvement could shave milliseconds off of the finish time. So, when it comes to motorsports, the question isn’t who is using 3D printing. It’s who isn’t?

Share this Article


Recent News

AMFG Publishes Additive Manufacturing Landscape Report 2020: Breaking Down the Industry and Looking at the Future

3DPrint.com Review of the Creality CR-6 SE



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Malaysia: Comparing 3D Printed and Conventionally Manufactured Ankle-Foot Orthoses

An ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) is a support brace, or splint, that surrounds the region above the ankle down to the foot, and is used to treat disorders like foot drop...

Sponsored

Creality CR-6 SE 3D Printer Debuts on Kickstarter with over 1,000 Backers in One Hour

On May 6th, Chinese 3D printer brand Creality made its first crowdfunding project debut on Kickstarter with its latest 3D printer, the CR-6 SE, featuring an innovative leveling-free tech to...

Sponsored

The Creality CR-6 Leveling-Free Tech 3D Printer is Live on Kickstarter

Creality CR-6 SE Leveling-free Tech 3D Printer is live on Kickstarter, The campaign will run from May 6th to June 6th. Super early bird backers can secure their own super...

3D Printing News Briefs: April 23, 2020

We’re talking about 3D printing in education, partnerships, and RC planes in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. First, Y Soft has announced premium lesson plans and an EDU bundle, while...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!