Duraform PA plastic withstands challenging environments — including under-the-hood applications in motorsports. With high strength plus heat and chemical resistance, the PA plastic is a tough material for custom manufacturing of end-use parts.
Oregon State University Formula car designed by students who created a CAD model of the car, optimized for Digital Manufacturing. Then 3D Systems built three complete engine intake systems with Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology through its Pro Parts Marketplace.
The new sintered intake, measuring about 15 by 12 by 8 in., was a big improvement from the intake the OSU Team had built by hand for competition the previous year. “Hand manufacturing entailed bending and welding small sections of tubing for the s-curves, and a laborious process in composites for the plenum,” Brady said. “Our team compared the two intakes back-to-back and immediately noticed how easily the car started, and the difference in both performance and fuel mileage.”
Before competition, the OSU team completed a full CAD model of the race car, advanced engineering analysis and testing, part manufacturing, vendor relations and finance. At the Fontana Speedway in California where more than 80 universities from around the world were competing, the OSU Team placed 10th in the Design category, 4th in both the Acceleration and Skidpad categories (no other team did so well in both events), and was on track to post the fastest lap times in Autocross and Endurance when they suffered oil shaft and sensor failures. Even with those failures, the Team placed 22nd.
The evolution of the team’s intake system. On the left is a 1.3-L plenum with curved, tapered runners. In the middle is a 1.5-L plenum with curved runners built in a thicker material. Because of the curved runner, the injector is aimed at the back of the intake valve, allowing for more consistent vaporization. On the car (right) is a 1.4-L plenum with s-curve runners, allowing for a box formation in the plenum.
Benefits of using Selective Laser Sintering and Digital Manufacturing to create the intakes:
– Engine dependability
– Efficient use of fuel and air
– Lightweight system
– Complex geometry
– Repeatable part build
– Evolution of design
– Time savings