Spanish student speedsters set for success with Stratasys' soluble solution

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Engineering students at the University of Navarra, in northern Spain, have built racecar components from Stratasys’ 3D printed sacrificial cores to compete in the Formula Student competition.

Their team, Tecnun built lighter cars with 3D printed parts by developing final carbon fibre parts that are 60 percent lighter than conventional production methods, increasing the cars’ performances on the track.


Produced using a 3D printed FDM sacrificial core, the final carbon fibre intake manifold is 60 percent lighter than those produced via conventional methods.

Javier Aperribay, Technical Director of Tecnun Motorsport, said one specific area where Stratasys’ technology was particularly useful was in the design of the intake manifold – a component vital to ensuring enough air reaches the engine cylinders to increase speed: “Manufacturing an intake manifold is extremely complex as it comprises several important components critical to the air distribution along the four intake manifolds - we aim to create intake manifolds in carbon fibre composites, but we’re well aware that manufacturing such a part requires a mould to lay-up the composite materials and create the final part.”

“CNC machining is used to produce the mould in aluminium, however this is typically an inflexible and costly process and on top of that, any subsequent design revisions applied to the mould delay projects and add extra costs.”

Using a Stratasys Fortus 450mc Production 3D Printer, Tecnun is making mould tools for parts like the intake manifold. This is 3D printed in ST-130 sacrificial tooling material, before the carbon fibre composite material is wrapped around the mould. Once cured, the internal sacrificial core is washed away, leaving the final composite part.

Andy Middleton, President, EMEA, Stratasys, said: “Tecnun’s use of 3D printed sacrificial cores to reduce production times and increase part complexity - and their use of this time-saving for further design iterations to produce what are ultimately much lighter parts - mirrors the way some of professional motorsport’s best-known teams are also benefitting from our technology. For us, it is thrilling to see tomorrow’s engineers embrace this technology so successfully as the rise of additive manufacturing continues within the automotive sector.”

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