Here at Graphite Additive Manufacturing, we have supported University of Glasgow Racing (UGRacing) with parts needed for their UGR20 race car, used at the Formula Student Competition Event held at Silverstone Racetrack. Although the UGRacing team had well designed CAD files of the components they required, this was their first time using 3D Printed Parts themselves, so were keen to learn from the process and see their designs come to fruition. Parts required included handles for the car’s steering wheel, shifting housing and flappy paddles.
Any parts for race car applications must be lightweight and strong – capable of performing under pressure whilst showcasing an attractive, aesthetically pleasing appearance. For this reason, our engineers recommended two options to UGRacing for their required components: Sinterworxs G4 – Cosmetic – A Graphite filled PA12 material combined with our blasted finish. This combination of material and finishing option is great for functional parts, with a dark grey matte finish, however build lines would still be visible. The second suggested option was our MJF PA12 – Cosmetic & Vapor Smoothed – An Unfilled PA12 material with our blasted finish, combined with post process Vapor Smoothing. The Vapor Smoothing process gives the parts an attractive glossy black colour, whilst also sealing the parts from the elements.
The team opted for the MJF PA12 material and finishing combination as recommended by us. The Vapor Smoothing finishing option is a popular selection among our Motorsport clients, as the benefits lend themselves to the demanding requirements of F1 parts. We are the first and only bureau in the UK to offer AMT’s Vapor Smoothing.
With the ideal material and finishing combination selected for the parts, our team got to work, turning the parts around within the required timeframe. When the parts arrived to the UGRacing team, Fraser Cowie, Team Principle commented “The parts have arrived and are absolutely stunning! These are certainly the best 3D printed parts I’ve ever seen.”
Central to what we do is advising our clients on how to adapt designs to maximise on the strength, weight and cost-saving gains that 3D Printing can offer them. The UGRacing Team commented “Graphite Additive Manufacturing produced our steering wheel handles, shifting housing and flappy paddles for UGR20. Our team saved over 300g by making the switch to additive manufacturing, and we were thoroughly impressed by the surface finish achieved. We very much look forward to future projects in partnership with Graphite!”
UGRacing achieved their highest ever finish, bagging 8th place overall. Included in the overall scoring were wins for the Engineering Design event and the 1st Year Vehicle category, as well as winning the Racecar Engineering Engagement, Outreach and Communications Award. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with UGRacing this summer, and sharing our knowledge with the team on the benefits and opportunities of 3D Printed Parts for Motorsport. We congratulate them on their excellent work and results and look forward to seeing what they achieve in upcoming years. You can keep up to date with UGRacing’s progress on their website and by following their social channels.