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Students race to success with 3T prototypes

29 August 2005 ...

The Oxford Brookes Formula Student Automotive Engineering team have defended their UK champions title, finishing 3rd in the UK and 15th overall out of 69 competitors from the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea and Europe. Held at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, Leicestershire in July, the series of races took place over four days and the team won 2nd prize in the Honda sponsored ‘Most Desirable Product’. The Oxfordshire team also performed extremely well in the endurance event, being 20 seconds up on the leader until a brake calliper failure resulted in them being unable to complete the event.

The team celebrated a 13th place finish in the annual event held at the Pontiac Silverdome, USA in May this year. This is the largest formula car event held in the US, with 140 teams from across the world competing against each other. Furthermore, they are intending to compete in the Australasia Formula Student event this coming December, in the hope of beating the Australians on their home ground!

Formula Student is an international competition run by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers that challenges students from more than 70 Universities from around the world to design, analyse and build a single-seater high performance racing car as part of their Automotive Engineering degree course. After rigorous testing, they take part in racing events in the UK and USA, where the concept is, essentially, to win!

3T RPD Ltd are specialists in the manufacture of rapid prototypes using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology and, working closely with students from the Oxford Brookes team, they supplied parts for both their 2004 and 2005 cars. The strength, durability and functionality of 3T’s SLS components enabled them to be used in anger in true working environments, and as fully operational parts for the duration of both race seasons.

Ian Cooke, Designer of the 2005 Rapid Prototyped Intake and Throttle System said, “The benefits of this technique have allowed us to produce a very intricate inlet system, capable of giving us the engine characteristics we need. The components are also lightweight and offer plenty of dimensional stability. It has really opened the box for us in terms of design. We can do things with rapid prototyping that would not otherwise be possible on our tight timescale.”

Full details of how 3T’s SLS components survived extensive mapping and dynamometer testing intact, as well as all the competition events, can be found at

Further details of the project can be found on the Oxford Brookes University website at or by contacting Howard Ash, Team Projects Supervisor, Oxford Brookes Racing Team, School of Technology, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 0BP. Tel. 01865 483565.

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