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Archive for the ‘Automotive’ Category

SAE Racing Team Incorporates 3D Printing in Car Design

Posted on: November 30th, 2015 by The Technology House

This year, we are once again sponsoring the University of Akron’s SAE racing team.  We work with their team to 3D print and manufacture various parts that are used in the car.  We recently spoke with them to talk about this year’s plans and objectives.

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Who is the team composed of?
Our team is composed of multiple tiers of members in a clever layout that allows for a system of checks and balances to ensure the quality of our design. In summary, this layout consists of two team captains who oversee both administrative and technical responsibilities. Beneath the team captains are our subsystem leaders, who oversee the design and production of different subsystems on the car, such as engine and suspension. Finally, we have general support, which is normally composed of newer members on the team. The general support members will help with all aspects of design and production of the car.

 

How many races do you plan to compete in this year?
Our team traditionally participates in multiple competitions around the world. Historically, this will include at least one competition in America, one in Canada, and one in Europe. This year, we plan on visiting Lincoln, Nebraska for our American competition, which will be followed by a competition in Germany. We also plan to end the season by going to Canada to participate in the Toronto Shootout.

 

What are your plans for this year’s car?
This year we plan to focus on improving the robustness of our design and looking into more advanced simulation/testing techniques to validate our designs before the ideas go into the production stage. This is an area where 3D printing can prove to be very useful with its rapid prototyping abilities. By improving our simulation/testing techniques we will be able to build a lighter car without sacrificing reliability.

 

How do you incorporate 3D printing in your design?
3D printing plays various roles in the design/production of our race car every year. 3D printed parts can serve roles that range from just testing fit and finish before actual production of the parts which involves lengthy machining processes, or they can even be finalized parts that will make their way on to the car.

 

What are the benefits you see by using 3D printing rather than traditional manufacturing methods?
One of the most useful attributes of 3D printing is that it allows us to produce complex geometries that would be next to impossible to machine from billet material. Some examples of these complex geometries include hollow parts, sharp corners, and small radii. By taking advantage of the benefits offered by 3D printing for production, we are able to build a lighter car without sacrificing our reliability.

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Stay tuned, for we will write a follow up blog in May once their car is complete.  We wish them the best of luck, and look forward to working with them this year.  To learn more about their team, feel free to visit  their website.

A Material for Both Your Prototype and Production Needs.

Posted on: September 30th, 2014 by The Technology House

When one needs a material to build durable concept & show models, prototypes, tooling & fixtures, and low-volume production parts, then the resilient and high-performance Fused Deposition Material (FDM) material, ULTEM , is a good candidate.

The ULTEM material allows one to work more iteratively, test more thoroughly, and move confidently and efficiently from prototype to production.

ULTEM is a flame retardant high performance thermoplastic material. This FDM material is ideal for functional and end-use parts that require high strength-to-weight ratio and its FST (flame, smoke, and toxicity) rating. ULTEM widely used in the aerospace, defense and automotive industries.

ULTEM Manufacturing Properties

Request a Quote for your FDM project

How Direct Metal Laser Sintering Can Help Solve Your Problems

Posted on: September 5th, 2014 by The Technology House

When parts need to be fabricated from metal, then Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is the best 3D printing/direct digital manufacturing practice. Most 3D printing/direct digital manufacturing processes produce parts in either plastic or rubber, but DMLS is a manufacturing process that can build metal parts in materials ranging from aluminum, cobalt chrome, steel, nickel alloy, and titanium.

DMLS can be a good alternative to traditional CNC machining, but how do you know when is the correct time to use it?

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) example

Fixture and Tooling Cost
Traditional machining processes may require fixtures or tooling.  DMLS does not require any fixture or tooling, which will help reduce your total project cost.

Order Quantity
DMLS is ideal for short run/low-volume parts.  This is because parts can be built together on the same build.

Part Detail
Parts with unique surfaces or features can be easier to produce in DMLS rather than traditional machining or casting.  This is because material is sintered layer by layer.

Lead Time
Lead times for machined parts can range from 2-4 weeks for prototype parts, to 8-10 weeks for production parts.  DMLS can deliver parts as quickly as 1-2 weeks.

Industries
The DMLS process is used heavily in the following industries:
-Aerospace
-Automotive
-Defense
-Medical and Dental Instruments

Golf ball created using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS)

On your next project that requires durable, accurate metal parts with fine detail, then consider DMLS.  Visit our material page to see what material will work best for your project.

Unveiling of Formula Race Car

Posted on: May 15th, 2014 by The Technology House

Recently, the University of Akron’s Formula SAE Racing team unveiled this year’s competition car. This year’s formula race car is known as the ZR14. We helped the team throughout the year by 3D printing and casting various car components. We made approximately 2 dozen parts that were used for the car’s intake manifold, heel rest, and clutch handle and mount.

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The 3D Printing parts we provided allowed the team to produce “one off” production pieces. We worked hand in hand with the team in order to determine the best processes and materials to meet their specific needs. The team was able to produce parts with intricate geometry at a faster rate than other manufacturing processes. The team was also able to use the parts to fit check their designs, determine ways to reduce component weight, and improve overall manufacturing efficiency.

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The team is currently ranked 8th in the world. We wish them the best of luck on this year’s races!

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For more information about the team, please visit them of facebook at https://www.facebook.com/zipsracing/

Visit Us at the Rapid 2014 Conference and Exposition!

Posted on: May 8th, 2014 by The Technology House

TTH will be exhibiting at the Rapid 2014 Conference and Exposition.

We would love to see you there!

Booth: 1025
When: June 9-12, 2014
Where: Cabo Center, Detroit MI

TTH Booth

Come visit us to learn more about the latest trends and developments in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

Click here to visit the Rapid Conference and Exposition’s website.

Request a Quote for you next 3D printing project

Electric Motorcycle Utilizes Rapid Prototyping

Posted on: April 17th, 2014 by The Technology House

We recently helped The Ohio State University Electric Motorcycle team, known as Buckeye Current, on prototyping pieces for their new motorcycle.  Buckeye Current was founded by students in 2010 through the Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research.  The objective of this team is to provide students experience with electric vehicles and to construct a fully operable electric motorcycle to compete in races on both the national and international level.

We first came in contact with Buckeye Current when they required 3D printed parts for their electronic enclosures.  We printed parts through the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process.  We asked Polina Brodsky, a team member and mechanical engineer student, the following questions on these 3D printed parts.

3D printed parts for motorcycles

Why was the FDM Process Chosen?
The FDM process was chosen to make our electronics enclosures because we needed more than just a black box form radio shack to house all of the custom made, home-built electronics. All of the boards on our bike have connectors with specific sealed panel opening requirements and have buttons and LEDs that need to be accessible. Because of this, the FDM process was chosen to make our boxes. This process is inexpensive, has low tooling costs and provides crisp, well tolerance parts that ensure the functionality of our custom electronics enclosures.

What Were the Prototypes Used For?
These prototypes were used to house our custom CAN data-logging and home-made BMS that monitor our battery pack on the electric motorcycle and log valuable data from our race at the Isle of Man.

3D printed prototypes

What Did You Learn from the Prototypes
The teams’ CAD surfacing skills improved in designing these creative enclosures, as well as our mindset of minimalistic design.  We had to sacrifice aesthetics for using less material and making stronger parts.

How Did the Prototypes Improve Your Product?
These prototypes gave the bike a professional look and ensured that the custom electronics we worked so hard on had the proper housing on our TT bike.

Buckeye Current

Last year, the team placed 3rd in their inaugural effort at the TT Zero race.  Their motorcycle, The RW-2, averaged a speed of 90.43 mph.  The team looks to build on this great achievement at the 2014 TT Zero.  We wish them the best of luck in their upcoming races, and are proud to have helped.

Click here to learn more about Buckeye Current.

We listen and work with customers every day to be a value added supplier by matching our processes and materials to their specific needs.  Click here to see what process and material can help you.

Formula SAE Car Utilizes Rapid Prototyping

Posted on: December 11th, 2013 by The Technology House

TTH partnered with the University of Akron’s Formula SAE racing team for their 2013 season.  The SAE racing team is composed of undergraduate students.  The students utilize their classroom knowledge to manufacture a prototype formula style racecar.  Just like in the real world, the team coordinates all the appropriate product functions such as: managing the racecar’s budget, production schedule, purchasing, design, testing, and manufacturing.

Car using rapid prototyping

Throughout this partnership, TTH 3D printed approximately 5 dozen parts through the SLA process, and some of the SLA’s were used as masters to create metal castings.  All of the printed and casted parts were used for the car’s intake manifold, heel rest, and clutch handle and mount.

Car using rapid prototyping

Additive manufacturing allowed the team to produce “one off” production at a faster rate than subtractive or formative manufacturing methods.  As a result, these rapid prototyping methods allow the team to produce intricate parts that allowed them to determine ways to reduce cost, reduce component weight, design check, and improve manufacturing efficiency.

 

Additive manufacturing allowed the team to fine tune their designs, which allowed the team to maximize the performance of their race car.  The team’s highest race finishes were:

3rd overall at Formula SAE Michigan
6th overall at Formula Student Germany
3rd overall at University of Toronto Shootout
8th at Formula Student Combustion-World Ranking

We congratulate the team on a successful 2013 season, and look forward to working with them for the 2014 season!

For more information about the team, please visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/zipsracing/

Car using rapid prototyping