Formula 1 (F1), the premier world championship for motor racing and its governing body the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), has engaged additive manufacturing technology to help determine the design, rules and regulations of its 2021 cars. With this, 3D printing in F1 cars have become more prevalent.
Come each F1 season, the FIA will have new regulations. These new rules are subsequently tested on prototypes of the cars involved in the championship. Last month, the 2021 vehicle underwent extensive wind tunnel testing using an accurate and detailed 50 percent scale model produced with 3D printing.
Many F1 racing teams are currently exploring 3D printing for prototyping and producing car parts to improve performance.
Recently, Jabil, an American worldwide manufacturing services company, announced a partnership with the Renault F1 Team. The two will hence work hand in hand to produce 3D printed car parts for the latter’s F1 car competing in the 2019 Formula One World Championship.
3D printing automotive parts can reduce their weight without compromising on material strength. With lighter parts, manufacturers can thus look towards enhanced fuel efficiency without reducing the power capabilities of the vehicle. Additionally, 3D printing is able to support complex geometries. Therefore, car part manufacturers are able to have more freedom of design for innovation without considering too many factors.
3D printing automotive parts also lead to more personalization for consumers due to the technology’s versatility. 3D printing allows for more innovative and creative parts. As a result, consumers can now take control of the overall design aesthetics and usability of the parts they want.
3D printing offers a shorter lead time as moulds are not required, unlike traditional manufacturing. Although accurate, moulds can take up to months to produce. With additive manufacturing, this step is redundant as 3D printing techniques build objects by depositing material layer by layer. Thus, lead time is significantly reduced without the need to create moulds.