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Additive manufacturing using metals

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The proliferation and benefits of additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing as it is now more commonly known, has enabled it to find favour across multiple industries. Formula One is no exception, with the sport consistently being one of the earliest adopters and hardest driver of new technologies in its continual search for performance gains. 3D printing with polymers has been available for more than 20 years and has been used by Formula One engineers, but if you exclude the...

Challenges of manufacturing Formula One energy recovery systems

Changes in the Formula One regulations and developments in technologies often push manufacturing to its very limits. Not only is manufacturing generally near to, or at the end of, the development process it has to deliver right first time, on time – and, in motorsport, in very little time. The introduction of kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) in 2009 combined with the current turbo era has certainly introduced new challenges and pushed ‘green’ technology far beyond the...

Advances in optimisation software

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Computer-aided engineering packages are the primary tools used by Formula One engineers to design, develop and manufacture their racecars. The use of finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation has intensified over the past 20 years as computing power has continued to increase, enabling more complex models to be solved in the shortest timescales. The increasing complexity of the modern racecar, from both structural and aerodynamic perspectives, has led...

Manufacturing composites

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In the perpetual search for improved mechanical properties and reduced mass, Formula One has a reputation for being the earliest adopter of new materials and technologies. Some of these are developed internally by the teams while the Formula One fraternity is often the first port of call for a company with a new performance-enhancing product, feeding new developments into the industry. The competitive advantage of any performance gain – combined with the large budgets, a pioneering...

Additive layer manufacturing

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Formula One is often one of the earliest adopters of new technologies and materials, driven as it is by the teams’ perpetual search for any performance advantage. A prime example here is the commercial advent of additive layer manufacturing (ALM) more than a decade ago. The original process is called SLA (Stereo Lithography Apparatus) and soon became known as Rapid Prototyping (RP). The early materials had limited stiffness and stability, so their applications were predominantly...