Industrial 3D print brings student racing car dream to life

A Hertfordshire based prototyping company has helped students at Coventry University bring a unique racing car to life for an annual competition.

Ogle Models and Prototypes was asked to produce parts for the vehicle in a bid to reduce weight and maintain optimum performance ahead of the world’s biggest student motorsport competition.

The intake runners were created for the IMechE Formula student event which challenges entrants to design and manufacture a single-seat race care that was then tested at Silverstone race track.

The aim is to create a high-performance car in terms of acceleration, handling and braking, whilst also being reliable, easy to maintain and low in cost.

Matt White, senior sales engineer and former Coventry University student, said: “It has been a pleasure working with The Phoenix Racing Team at Coventry University this year. They are an amazing bunch of designers and engineers with such creative ideas.

“The competition is a prestigious one, aimed at helping innovative engineers showcase their technical, engineering design and manufacturing skills, and we’re very proud to support the next generation of racing car designers.

“In our day-to-day lives at Ogle, we’re working on parts for several global car manufacturers and it’s great to bring that industrial 3D printing expertise to Coventry University.”

Ogle used selective laser sintering (SLS), a form of industrial 3D printing technology, to create the intake runners needed for the single-seat race car. This was chosen due to the accuracy in creating the intricate and sometimes complex geometries required for air intakes and crucially, the part would be airtight.

Nylon PA2200 was chosen to add strength and provide the temperature resistance required. It was also the most cost effective method of production, whilst providing the strength required for its application.

Ross Miller, team leader for The Phoenix Racing team, said: “We didn’t have the right on-site facilities to be able to produce the manifold runners, so we took to finding a reliable supplier with great reviews.

“Ogle’s reputation speaks for itself and we knew they’d already been involved in student projects before. It was great to work with the team. Matt responded to us so quickly, he visited us and ran through the requirements and then turned the part around in three days.

“They’re the best people to speak to and gave us so much more testing time than we’d anticipated. I’d recommend Ogle for any prototyping or 3D printing in the future.”

Formula Student (FS) is Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Matt White has Motorsport Engineering Degree from Coventry University and played a key role in Coventry’s 2012 Formula Student team.

The competition will take place at Silverstone race track on July 13 for two days. 2018 is the 20th anniversary of the competition and sees the launch of an autonomous vehicle class.

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