Renault F1's 3D Systems ADM resource

The Renault F1 team in Enstone, UK, has commissioned its new, dedicated advanced digital manufacturing centre in conjunction with US solid imaging specialist 3D Systems of Valencia, CA [Aug 29]. The 2003 Renault F1 car already incorporates a number of ADM-developed components

Renault F1's 3D Systems ADM resource

Under a five-year agreement, 3D Systems, which has been supplying stereolithography technology to the team (né Benetton) since 1998, has installed four 'SLA 7000' systems, an 'OptoForm' direct composite manufacturing (DCM) system and a 'ThermoJet' printer. Future additions will include 3D's 'SLS' (selective laser sintering) systems. These advanced tools will support the aerodynamic development of Renault's F1 racecars.

Renault F1 technical director Mike Gascoyne said: "I'm extremely pleased to see our partnership with 3D Systems flourish. I've been a strong believer in this technology since its first steps into F1. It's now great to see a manufacturing structure of this capacity become exclusive to our facility. 3D Systems has been very responsive to the challenges posed by our environment. Together our engineers have worked for some time as a team to push the boundaries of this technology into real-world applications.

"We can rapidly make 50 of every single part you see on the car for wind tunnel testing. After wind tunnel testing, we can choose the best design. This gives us the ability to test more parts for the same budget, which is a huge advantage. Not only can we build finished components 100 times faster, but each part is infinitely more accurate.

"The changeover from last year's bodywork to a new aerodynamic package, developed using ADM technology, has resulted in a racecar expected to go 1.5 seconds a lap quicker on the race track than earlier in the season. What's that worth in motor racing terms? You can't put a price on it."

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