Stratasys Inc. says Aston Martin Racing (AMR) was able to meet an aggressive development schedule for their AMR-One race car by using 3D printing.
The company’s Dimension® 3D Printer was used to mock up the chassis, driver controls and engine of the race-car. The 3D printer produced prototypes for concept and testing of Aston Martin’s new AMR-One, (LMP1 class). Developed in under six months, the car will be driven by the Aston Martin Racing works team drivers in the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC).
AMR selected the Dimension machine for its rapid prototyping capabilities after seeing the speed and quality of the parts produced for the Prodrive run rally team in a previous project. Having the machine on site helped the race team to design, test and build a complete car to meet the tight deadline for entry into this year’s ILMC.
Built from the ground up, AMR-One features a new custom carbon fiber chassis, an open cockpit and a significantly down-sized engine, all of which required testing during the building process. The Dimension machine was used primarily for designing and testing the engine parts as well as mocking up the chassis and driver controls. This ensured ultimate efficiency and that the new design met the 2011 regulations from the Le Mans governing body – the ACO. The car was developed from start to finish between autumn 2010 and the end of February 2011.
Aston Martin Racing is also exploring the idea of using the 3D printer to make finished parts for end-use on the car. One item being considered is the front wing splitters used for aerodynamic flow.
“When we received final sign-off to build the car for this year’s ILMC, using rapid prototyping was a no-brainer for us, as we had a tight deadline to meet. Most of the engine was prototyped on the Dimension machine, which also proved very useful for the early stages of determining the driver fit for the car,”says George Howard-Chappell, Technical Director at Aston Martin Racing. “Without the 3D printer, we would not be testing the car today. Following the success with the AMR-One, we hope to utilise the capabilities of another Stratasys machine to help build and deliver end-use parts for future cars.”
“The AMR-One has achieved a balance of aesthetics and aerodynamics, and FDM technology has helped make this possible,”says Tim Heller, European Managing Director for Stratasys. “We wish the Aston Martin Racing team the best of luck with the upcoming season.”The FDM 3D Printing process is patented by Stratasys, Inc.
Stratasys, Inc ., Minneapolis, is a maker of additive manufacturing machines for prototyping and producing plastic parts. The company markets under the brands Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus 3D Production Systems. The company also operates RedEye On Demand, a digital manufacturing service for prototypes and production parts. According to Wohlers Report 2010, Stratasys supplied more additive manufacturing systems in 2009 than any other manufacturer, making it the unit market leader for the eighth consecutive year. Stratasys patented and owns the process known as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM.®) The process creates functional prototypes and manufactured goods directly from any 3D CAD program, using high-performance industrial thermoplastics. The company holds more than 285 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents globally. Stratasys products are used in the aerospace, defense, automotive, medical, business & industrial equipment, education, architecture, and consumer-product industries. Online at: www.Stratasys.com.
Aston Martin was founded in 1914. Aston Martin sports cars were intended from the outset to have a distinctive and individual character. The brand has stayed true to these values, creating some of the world’s most iconic sports cars, such as the DB5 famously associated with James Bond to modern classics such as the Vantage, DB9, DBS, Rapide and One-77 and in 2011, joined by the new Virage, and Vantage S.
Aston Martin Racing is a joint venture between Aston Martin and Prodrive. The team was created in 2004 specifically to design, build and race production-based sports cars in events and championships around the world. The team’s first race was the opening round of the American Le Mans Series at Sebring in 2005, where it scored a spectacular GT1 class victory.