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Stratasys McLaren Formula 1 racing deploys Stratasys additive manufacturing for the 2017 car

| Editor: Briggette Jaya

AM in car racing – McLaren Racing is expanding its use of Stratasys 3D-printing to produce components for its 2017 Formula 1 MCL32 race car with the goal of accelerating design modifications and reducing weight to increase performance, Stratasys says.

A hydraulic line bracket for the McLaren MCL32 race car, 3D-printed on a Stratasys FDM 3D printer using Nylon12CF material.
A hydraulic line bracket for the McLaren MCL32 race car, 3D-printed on a Stratasys FDM 3D printer using Nylon12CF material.
(Source: Stratasys)

Some of the 3D printed parts designed to improve performance which have been applied to the 2017 race car include hydraulic line brackets, flexible radio harness location boots, carbon fibre composite brake cooling ducts and the rear wing flaps.

McLaren Honda has 3D-printed a structural bracket to attach the hydraulic line on the MCL32 race car using Stratasys FDM technology.The bracket was produced in just four hours compared to an estimated two weeks to create using traditional manufacturing processes.

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For the flexible radio harness location boot, a new 2-way communication and data system was recently added to the MCL32 race car but the cable proved distracting to the driver. Using the Stratasys J750 3D-printer’s ability to print in flexible materials, McLaren designed and 3D-printed a rubber-like boot to join the harness wires for the communication system. Three different designs were iterated and 3D-printed in one day and the final component was 3D-printed in just two hours which allowed the comfortable radio harness assembly to be used in the first Grand Prix race of the 2017 season, the company said.

Furthermore, McLaren Honda 3D-printed sacrificial tools to create hollow composite brake cooling ducts to efficiently control the brake component temperatures. The wash-out cores were 3D-printed using ST-130 soluble material, developed specifically for the application, and then wrapped with carbon-fibre reinforced composite material and autoclave-cured at elevated temperatures. The result is a tubular structure with very smooth internal surface finishes to ensure the required airflow to brakes, whilst maintaining maximum aerodynamic and car performance.

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