Engineers at Caterham, a Formula One racing team, are using 3D printing to speed up their racecar prototyping and design process.
According to an interview with the Financial Times, Caterham, a UK-based racing team, has been busy printing 3D prototypes in their Oxfordshire to help optimize their cars for race day.
Last year, Caterham bought two 3D printers to speed up their prototyping process and reduce costs. They are now printing between 800 and 900 parts per month to keep up with demand. Using 3D printing is saving them $800,000 a year – and the savings are expected to increase as the cost of 3D printing goes down.
“For an F1 team, because it is constant development all year round, we need these machines to improve the performance of the car,” said Ian Prince, rapid prototyping manager of Caterham.
3D printing allows for faster and more efficient prototyping. This allows engineers to print parts to precise specifications, saving Caterham time and money. The prototype parts are printed to a scale of 60 percent and are tested in a wind tunnel.
Caterham isn’t the only racing team that’s using 3D printing; other teams such as Lotus and Red Bull have also been using this technology as well.
3D printing continues to make advancements across a wide range of sectors in trade, commerce, and transportation. As the speed and accuracy of 3D printers continues to advance, it is revolutionizing the way parts, pieces, and components are manufactured, allowing companies to capitalize on this method of faster prototyping and pinpoint accuracy in design.