Ford Throws 3D Printed Racing Parts into the Deep End at the 24 Hours of Daytona Race

Share this Article

The Ford EcoBoost engine that powered this car featured a 3D printed intake setup which led drivers Scott Dixon, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and Tony Kanaan to victory in the brutal 24 Hours of Daytona

The 24 Hours of Daytona is the sports car endurance race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Run on a 3.56-mile-long road course, it’s the first major automobile race of the year in the United States. It’s one leg of the what’s known as the Triple Crown of endurance racing, along with Sebring and Le Mans, and the race combines the skills of a group of drivers tasked with piloting their specialized cars for a full day to the finish line.

It’s a brutal test of both man and machine which requires rock solid, reliable performance in the crucible of racing.

Victor Martinez of Ford Performance

Victor Martinez of Ford Performance

While Ford uses several 3D printing labs to rapidly prototype parts for street cars making everything from buttons and knobs to intakes and engine covers, the company’s use of 3D printing isn’t limited to street-legal cars. It was also used for high-performance racing machines, and Ford won the 24 Hours of Daytona 2015 using one of those thoroughbred vehicles which featured a 3D printed intake manifold.

“We have the ability to design an entirely new part and, one week later, have that part in hand. This lets the engineers who develop our cars – both for road and track – spend more time testing, tuning and refining,” says Victor Martinez, a race engine engineer on the 3.5-liter EcoBoost project which took the title.

Parts such as the intake manifold on the Ford EcoBoost race engine have proved essential to the process of developing high-performance engine systems.

“3D computer printers have totally changed the development process for our Daytona Prototype race cars,” says Martinez. “3D printing has advanced at such lightning speed in recent years that, in a matter of hours, we can create real, usable parts for race cars. That’s exactly what we did for the 24 Hours of Daytona earlier this year.”

Ford product development first began using 3D printing decades ago and in fact, the company purchased what they say was the third 3D printer ever made back in 1988.

But from those humble beginnings when the company used the devices for prototyping buttons and knobs, the technology is now capable of such precision that the 3D printed parts are used in real-world applications like the Ford race car that won the 53rd running of the grueling Daytona race.1432745003638.jpg

“We have the ability to design an entirely new part and, one week later, have that part in hand,” Martinez says. “This lets the engineers who develop our cars – both for road and track – spend more time testing, tuning and refining.”

Martinez says that toward the end 2014, Ford Performance began to design revisions for an intake manifold, and it led them to 3D print several intakes and test them. The result was the most advanced intake yet printed, and in combination with carbon fiber intake plenums developed by Multimatic, the manifold was used for the No. 02 Target Ford EcoBoost-Riley race car.

“The prototype manifold exceeded our expectations in testing, so in the essence of time we decided to use it for the race,” said Martinez. “We modified our intake with carbon fiber components, painted it, and then it was ready to go to the track.”

And it worked like a charm as Chip Ganassi Racing, with drivers Scott Dixon, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, and Tony Kanaan at the wheel, won the Daytona classic by holding off serious competitive threats through the final hour of the race.

Do you know of any other motor racing applications of 3D printing? Let us know in the 3D Printed Racing Parts forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

Share this Article


Recent News

DNA.am Acquires GROW Software, Protecting AM Data

Logitech and Realize Medical Partner to Enhance Medical VR



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

Essentium and Hephzibah Partner to Increase 3D Printing Adoption in Korea

Even though South Korea announced a plan in 2014 designed to make the country a leader in the 3D printing industry, widespread adoption of industrial-scale additive manufacturing is still slow-going...

Adobe Subsidiary Expands Surface Design for 3D Printing

In a new partnership to improve solutions for 3D printing users, Substance and CoreTechnologie are expanding options in surface design, as well as integrating virtual reality (VR) for better workflow....

MULTI-FUN Consortium Aims to Improve Metal 3D Printing

As the focus continues to shine on metal additive manufacturing (MAM), 21 partners are coming together from eight countries (Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, Portugal and Belgium) in...

3D Printing News Briefs, July 3, 2020: ExOne, 3D Printz & Monoprice, CNPC, Liqcreate

We’re talking about business and materials in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. First, the ExOne Company has been added to the Russell 2000 and 3000 Indexes, while 3D Printz has...


Shop

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