posted on September 23, 2011 |
The University of Minnesota Formula SAE Team found that FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) is a powerful tool and teamed with RedEye's rapid prototyping capabilities to help fine-tune their designs and build their low-volume custom parts.
In total, three complete intake assemblies were built out of FDM ULTEM 9085. One assembly was used on their dynamometer in the lab. That one was used to get their manufacturing process sorted out.
The maroon and gold assembly that is shown on the car (image below) was epoxy sealed by RedEye. This has been the only assembly used on their car so far, seeing nearly 70 hours of use. “In my opinion that is a pretty impressive statement about the FDM process given the thermal, chemical and vibration rich environment these components live in” says Paul Kelsey, a Stratasys engineer who helped build the assemblies. “The FDM ULTEM 9085 material is directly exposed to 100 octane race fuel”.
The black part was epoxy infused by RedEye like the maroon and gold part. It was their race spare. It is now brought to their public displays as a method of showing the technology used in the car.
Zach McNeil, one of the members of the team had some great things to say about the benefits of using additive manufacturing. “The intake system was the most frequently complemented part of the car throughout the week by judges and industry professionals. In the design event I explained both the technical aspects of performance optimization as well as the manufacturing process using FDM. The judges were impressed with the thought process and decisions in design for manufacturing, such as using the alternative lay direction of material on the runners for improved strength. They also liked our ability to capitalize on past failures, test and follow through with a solid final product. The day after the design event the team was visited by the judges and provided a review of how things went. The judge stated that our team did very well in areas of creativity and power train mostly due to the intake system. I was very pleased to receive the compliments and especially thankful for your invaluable assistance to the team. On that note, I hope we can continue our partnership in years to come.”
Find out more about the U of MN Formula SAE Team.
Check out other rapid prototyping case studies for more automotive applications.