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3D printing the DeltaWing

3D printing and Windform materials were used to manufacture parts for the DeltaWing race car and headlight covers for a motorcycle

 

The CRP Group has been involved with several projects that demonstrate how technology can be transferrable from motorsport to the road car industry, in particular, 3D printing, a technology, which is usually applied in motorsport. The company assisted in the construction of parts for the DeltaWing race car, and it has constructed headlight covers for Energica, its electric motorcycle.

CRP Technology together with CRP USA and the DeltaWing team, used a combination of 3D Printing and carbon fiber reinforced Windform XT 2.0 material to build parts for the race car including bespoke electronics enclosures, electrical breakout boxes, transmission seal covers with integrated pressurized oil feed passages, a tow hook plinths and gearbox side covers.

According to CRP, the combination of the two technologies reduced the overall construction time of the vehicle, and the material provided the essential stiffness required, without affecting the weight of the vehicle. In addition to this, with 3D Printing technology, the DeltaWing team were able to construct a very complex geometry, keep gentle radii in the oil passages, and get rid of all unnecessary material without introducing more costs or increasing lead time.

In the road car industry 3D Printing and Windform materials were used to construct headlight covers for Energica, the eletric streetbike. CRP says the technology represents a fundamental tool to recreate design samples that are no longer available in production, or to create pieces that are unique.

Once CRP had chosen the style of headlight cover, the part was made from polyurethane, subsequently scanned with a FARO laser. The instrument connected to an acquisition system and image processor, led to the determination of the cloud of points of the covers by using a scanner connected to a single camera.

Then CRP obtained the STL file of the cloud of points of the cover, and this was imported to CAD to create the final geometry for the component. Windform GF 2.0 was used to construct the headlight covers, which were smoothed manually and then painted.

The advantages of 3D Printing for the automotive industry are mainly related to the extreme speed in execution, closely connected to the mechanical characteristics of the state-of-the-art materials.

CRP further notes that parts manufactured with Windform materials are becoming increasingly close in terms of properties, to those built with traditional technologies on a large production scale.

The combination of Windform materials together with 3D Printing can offer functional materials with marked differences, and companies can choose between various characteristics including stiffness, elasticity, resistance to high temperatures, resistance to pressure, resistance to liquids (water, oil, gasoline), lightness, toughness and wear resistance.

 

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