Swindon Engines – race with high performance parts
Design Engineers at Swindon Engines, the high performance engine specialist, were tasked with designing an Airbox suitable for conditions encountered by a high performance production road car. The part would be used on track testing and so would need to withstand the associated vibration, heat and deliver the long service life required.
The project meant taking a high performance road car and upgrading the engine to increase the power output and therefore performance of the vehicle. In addition to providing a good service life, this had to be achieved with a look and feel of material that would be acceptable for the customer.
Sean O’Rafferty, Production Manager at Swindon Engines says “Due to the nature of our business we are always up against tight timescales and ever more aggressive deadlines. It is for this reason that Additive Manufacturing (AM) is such a great solution for us. When making the initial demonstrator car it is uneconomic to go to the expense of tooling for an injection moulded or traditional composite part, and that is where using 3T RPD’s AM services came into play”.
Instead of designing several versions of the part for various phases of manufacture, including the tooling that would usually be required, Swindon Engines were able to go with the final solution from the first part produced. This reduced the overall design time required for the project, allowing resources to be used more effectively in other areas.
“We have been able to cut our time to testing in half by building the part with 3T” explains Sylvain Rubio, Technical Manager. “The parts produced using plastic Additive Manufacturing are of identical form to those we originally devised. This means the performance we see on our dyno tests will carry over directly to the finished car. The consequence of a reduced design cycle also allows more time to be dedicated to performance work resulting in a more complete product”.
The figures generated from the part in conjunction with the rest of the project work allowed Swindon Engines not only to meet but also exceed the targets set out by the customer for the engine output. “It has been a pleasure working with 3T”, continues O’Rafferty. “The service provided has been excellent, there is always someone available to speak to directly who understands the details and we received the parts well ahead of the expected delivery and only five days from placing the order. It is great to work with such high quality and responsive suppliers.”