CRP USA’s AM Crew Teams Up With DeltaWing Racing Cars Engineers
Andrew Wheeler posted on March 27, 2015 |
Intake Manifold 3D Printed with Windform SP Directly From CAD Files

Between the 2012 and 2013, change was in the air and on the tracks for DeltaWing Racing. Among several significant changes was the addition of an entirely new operating team, crew, engine, and tire partner. 

During a race, there is very little time between races to make necessary changes to a car, and the DeltaWing Racing Cars team and Élan Motorsports had no choice but to design a new engine from scratch.  

The design and time constraints were considerable, and  when it came to designing the intake manifold, design engineer Christian “Skitter” Yaeger called on CRP USA to assist on the design and production.

In 81 days, the team went from nothing but a Mazda head to a new running engine.  And in just 105 days total, they were racing at Sebring with a key component intact and working beautifully:  a 3D printed intake manifold.

The 3D printed intake manifold was designed and developed to operate under boost utilized in race conditions.  It was 3D printed from a composite polyamide based carbon filled material called Windform SP in order to handle the heat and tension that would be placed on the part.  The component has been in action since March 2013 and has now covered 12,000 racing and testing miles.

“We could not have made this motor happen if we couldn’t produce parts directly from CAD files,” according to Yaeger, the design engineer for DeltaWing Racing Cars.  “The biggest benefit is being able to print exactly what you need.  We have eight odd-shaped ports in the head, and CRP USA was able to match them perfectly, with a knife edge in between.”

Yaeger added, “With the coupe version, we went slightly less wild, and a little more conventional in our design.  Over the past two years, the 3D Printed manifolds have covered over 12,000 testing and racing miles, along with 6 hours per unit running on the dyno.”

Even before the production of the intake manifold, Windform SP was used to produce components like electronics enclosures, and transmission seal covers with integrated, pressurized oil feed passages on the DeltaWing.  

Windform SP was also selected because of it's increased resistance to shocks, vibrations, and deformations.  Perhaps most importantly, Windform SP is resistant to absorption of liquids and moisture.

“The packaging constraints required by the location of the engine within the chassis requires some creative design,” said Stewart Davis, Director of Operations, CRP USA.  “The runner lengths attach at the base of the plenum and form a complex structure that would be extremely difficult to build without using additive manufacturing.  Windform SP's toughness and heat deflection temperature allow the part to be built and then raced in the endurance series.  The engine is run under boost, so it sees pressure variation in addition to the vibration, shock, and temperatures changes associated with racing.”

“The work done by Skitter and the DeltaWing/Élan Motorsports team is a great example of the application of Windform for a complex problem, and utilizing Additive Manufacturing to push the boundaries in racing,” concluded Davis.

Of the 12,000 tested miles, the 3D printed manifold and other Windform SP components have zoomed over the asphalt at the following tracks and races:

2013 American Le Mans Series:

● Sebring International Raceway

● Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

● Lime Rock Park

● Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 

● Road America

● Circuit Of The Americas

● Virginia International Raceway

● Road America

2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship:

● Daytona International Speedway

● Sebring International Raceway

● Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

● Watkins Glen International

● Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

● Road America

● Road Atlanta

Recommended For You