Eplus3D, headquartered in Hanzhou, China, recently partnered with the Delta Racing team at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, Germany, to utilise Additive Manufacturing in the reduction of costs and material in the production of its race car components.
Since 2012, the Delta Racing team has been working on an electric race car. In the last year, the project reached the point where parts were ready for prototyping; Eplus3D additively manufactured titanium and aluminium parts on its EP-M260 machine. These parts achieved a reported weight saving of 60%.
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Front and rear diverters
These parts are needed to transfer forces from the wheel carrier to the spring-damper unit. 3Plus3D was able to leverage Additive Manufacturing to give the Delta Team more design freedom whilst ensuring the part can serve the same function, preferably at a lighter weight.
To achieve this, the Delta Racing Team used the SKO (Soft Kill Option) method to identify all the areas where material is not needed. For the simulation, all different angles and load cases need to be identified. The boundary and ancillary condition together with the loads of the system must also be set. After, the program calculates the optimum shape of the diverters for all load cases, enabling the force flow and safety to be controlled.
For better results, however, this generated optimised topology must be further improved. The Delta team used SolidWorks to construct the piece with curves rather than sharp edges and small corners. To validate this new design, a mechanical structure analysis is performed.
Eplus3D manufactured the parts in Ti-6Al-4V powder via its EP-M260 Additive Manufacturing machine. This allowed Delta Racing to fulfil its design brief without seeing increased costs or higher weights. Ultimately, the team selected a titanium alloy for its diverters, thus reducing the weight from 240 g to 91 g per part.