Formula 1 cars are the thoroughbreds of the automotive world, capable of reaching speeds of nearly 230 mph on the faster tracks on the race circuit.
The cars crank out 800 bhp, but weigh just 1400 pounds, and that includes the weight of the driver. It’s thought that at speeds over 150mph, a Formula 1 car could create enough aerodynamic downforce to run upside down on the ceiling of a tunnel. Formula 1 drivers are crushed under the weight of some 5 Gs in high-speed corners, and their tires reach temperatures of 120 degrees Celsius after a race.
A Spanish company has produced 3D printed trophies for F1 winners that rival the technology of the cars and drivers they’re meant to celebrate. RePro3D manufactured the trophies using SLS and SLA technology to create them from polyamide and resin materials. The trophies were then polished, sanded, and treated to arrive at the finished result. The company says even the plates and screws were tailored to the piece and 3D printed.
The trophies, awarded to the winners at the races at Hockenheim in Germany and at Silverstone in England, were the result of a worldwide competition held by Spanish banking giant Banco Santander. The competition drew more than 500,000 student votes for 371 designs from 104 universities in 15 countries.
The winning design entry was created by Saúl Latorre Sebastián, a student at Universidad Católica de Murcia (UCAM) in Spain. Sebastián was awarded a trip for two to the race at Silverstone in the UK.
The student designer said winning the contest was a thrill and that knowing “my design will be theirs – and it will be at their home – is an honor.”
Formula 1 race teams make extensive use of the 3D printing process in the prototyping of their cars, and some teams print as many as 900 pieces a month to create new designs and maintain their competitive edge.
Nico Rosberg hoisted one of the trophies after standing on the podium in his home country as a result of his win at the Hockenheim race. It was his fourth win of the season and increased his lead over Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton, in the F1 world championship standings. It also made Rosberg the first German driver to win in Germany and for a German car and engine manufacturer.
For his part, Hamilton had raised a version of the 3D printed trophy awarded for a win at Silverstone, and the Briton eventually went on to win the Formula 1 title after defeating Rosberg in the final event of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Do you think the trophies for most major sporting events will ultimately be designed and created with 3D printing technology? Discuss the idea in the Formula One 3D Printed Trophy forum thread on 3DPB.com.