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Gentlemen – to your cars!

28 February 2017 ...

Racing driver, Graham Hill, claimed that when he was racing, the track was his “canvas” and that his car was his “brush”. Formula1 has moved on since Hill’s day, but it remains a thrilling competition where drivers’ talents and their teams’ technological skills are harnessed as they are pitted against each other for victory on the track. The season opens on 26th March in Melbourne and 3T RPD will be on each race track as a key supplier of production Additive Manufacturing (AM), sometimes known as 3D printing, parts for many of Formula1’s racing teams – unfortunately we are not able to talk about precisely who we supply.

Jackie Stewart said that it is always “possible to improve your own performance” and success in Formula1 is based on continuous improvement, which makes AM an ideal manufacturing technique for the industry. In the constant hunt for a competitive edge on the track, Formula1 teams became early adopters of 3D printing and are now a prolific users of AM production parts. We have already discussed the advantages to Formula1 of AM in a blog last year. In the article we wrote about how AM was described as the perfect manufacturing technique for the production of F1 racing car parts.

To help explain exactly what products can be made from AM for Formula1 we have produced a short video infographic showing some of the 3D printed products used in Formula1.

Click on the infographic below to see the wide range of AM products that are used in an F1 racing car.

Gentlemen to your cars

AM has allowed team engineers to design product geometries that simply would not be possible using conventional manufacturing methods. Most Formula1 racing cars are running with around 40-60 AM manufactured parts. AM is able to produce complex geometries which have been manufactured to save weight, maintain strength and which are difficult to make conventionally, such as roll hoops, flanges and collectors. 3T RPD has also worked on a unique latticework roll hoop, that saves weight and more than matches the safety characteristics of a traditionally manufactured part. 3T RPD manufactures a wide range of products for our F1 customers, but the question remains: What products is it possible to manufacture using AM for F1 racing cars?

Each AM part that is installed in a racing car, helps race engineers to reduce its weight and ultimately to help it to go faster around the track. AM allows F1 teams to continually improve their cars as the development process evolves.

F1 engineering is one of the most arduous and difficult engineering challenges in industry today. Some people might say that the time, energy and excitement that goes in to Formula1 is unnecessary (not us you understand), but as one of the leading suppliers of AM parts for the teams and fans we would echo Nicki Lauda’s words when he said “what would life be if we only did what was necessary”.

To make sure that you don’t miss a race, here’s the 2017 Grand Prix schedule:

Race Date Location Country
26th March Melbourne Australia
9th April Shanghai China
16th April Bahrain Bahrain
30th April Sochi Russia
14th May Barcelona Spain
28th May Monaco Monaco
11th June Montreal Canada
25th June Baku Azerbaijan
9th July Spielberg Austria
16th July Silverstone UK
30th July Budapest Hungary
27th Aug Spa Belgium
3rd Sept Monza Italy
17th Sept Singapore Singapore
1st Oct Sepang Malaysia
8th Oct Suzuka Japan
22nd Oct Circuit of the Americas, Austin USA
29th Oct Mexico City Mexico
12th Nov Sao Paulo Brazil
26th Nov Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi


3T RPD wishes all of the Formula1 teams a successful and safe 2017 season and look forward to the Melbourne Grand Prix kicking off another superlative season.

If you want to talk to us about your AM project contact us here.

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