AMS Spring 2023

Brumos Racing Finishes 1st in Time Attack Thanks to Airtech 3D Printing

Inkbit

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Brumos Racing recently announced Airtech Advanced Materials Group as a technical partner for the team ahead of the 100th running of the Pike Peak Invitational Hill Climb in Colorado Springs, CO. This partnership will aid in designing and developing lighter and more aerodynamic parts for the car by using the most modern manufacturing techniques.

In racing, developing your car is everything, and the team who can do that the fastest is usually the quickest on track. Each upgrade may only cut a tenth of a second off each lap, but those tenths add up over the course of a race, and it usually makes the difference between fighting for podiums or being stuck in the midfield.

Brumos Racing has been quick to incorporate new technology in the past, but they knew they needed to upgrade their development process if they wanted to be competitive at the 100th racing of Pike’s Peak. However, they didn’t have the resources to do it themselves and needed the right partner to help bring them into this new era of manufacturing. Cue Airtech.

Brumos Racing Car at the Pike’s Peak Invitational Hill Climb (Source: ppihc.org)

Airtech is a manufacturing company with nearly fifty years of experience and ended up being an excellent fit for the team’s needs. The two were able to harness the freedom, flexibility, and adaptability of 3D printing with the proven reliability of Airtech’s manufacturing processes to quickly upgrade parts for Brumos’ Porche before the race.

Airtech worked with BBi Autosport, the group that produces Porches for Brumos Racing, to design and develop the updated parts for the Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport. The team used Airtech’s Dahltram printing resins and Print-Tech in-house 3D printing services to 3D print molds for the updated components and Airtech’s NEXX Technologies carbon fiber prepreg to produce the final lightweight parts for the car.

All of these updates provided American race legend David Donohue and Brumos Racing with an extremely competitive car. This helped the team take home 1st in the Time Attack Division and 3rd in the Overall standings.

Airtech’s 3D printing and manufacturing played a pivotal role in engineering a fantastic car the race, and together with Brumos Racing, they laid the groundwork to battle for podiums well into the future.

This partnership adds another name to the growing list of motor racing teams incorporating 3D printing into their car’s development process. We have already seen teams in NASCAR and Formula 1 adopt the technology, but now we are seeing it trickle into other automotive divisions as well. When races are determined by who can design and iterate their vehicles the fastest, teams will use any technology that helps them accomplish that, and right now, it’s 3D printing.

Even outside of motor racing, major car manufacturers like GM, BMW, and Ford are utilizing the technology to build their commercial vehicles quicker and easier. In fact, these very companies are now using additive to produce end parts. Although they don’t need to cut tenths of seconds off their lap time, 3D printing does help them cut tens of millions of dollars in costs each year.

In the end, we will have to wait to see the long-lasting impacts this technology will have on motor racing and the automotive industry as a whole. According to the Market for Additive Manufactured Polymer Automotive Parts: Europe and North America Regions report from SmarTech Analysis, the market for polymer 3D printing in North America and Europe’s automotive sector is expected to reach $2.7 billion by 2030. As we wait to see how those numbers pan out, we can safely say that 3D printing is allowing manufacturers and racing teams like Brumos to build better cars at an unprecedented rate, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

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