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Renault F1 and 3D Systems Launch Advanced Digital Manufacturing Center

01 March 2003

3D Systems has set ip a new Advanced Digital Manufacturing (ADM) Center with the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team.

Under the new five-year agreement, 3D Systems and the Renault F1 Team have launched an Advanced Digital Manufacturing Centre at the team's facility at Enstone, part of the UK motorsport valley in Oxfordshire. The ADM Centre specifically concentrates on Formula 1 design and low-run production parts for the Renault F1 Team car.

From the early days of the partnership in 1998, the team had been gradually expanding the use of solid imaging technology from rapid prototyping to manufacturing of wind tunnel models. These steps have led to direct manufacturing of production parts for testing and racing and in 2001, the first SLA(R) system parts were fitted into a racecar.

The facility launched on Friday 21 February, features four SLA 7000 Systems, an OptoForm(TM) direct composite manufacturing (DCM) system and a ThermoJet(R) printer. They provide advanced manufacturing tools to support the aerodynamic development of Renault F1 single-seat racecars. Future additions to the ADM Centre will include 3D Systems' SLS(R) (selective laser sintering) systems.

Mike Gascoyne, technical director of Renault F1 Team UK said, ""I am extremely pleased to see our partnership with 3D Systems flourish. I have been a strong believer in this technology since its first steps into Formula 1. It is now great to see a manufacturing structure of this capacity become exclusive to our facility. 3D Systems has been very responsive to the challenges posed by our environment. Together our engineers have worked for some time as a team to push the boundaries of this technology into real world applications.""

""Digital manufacturing of actual components is exactly what we need for our aerodynamic program,"" Gascoyne added. ""We can rapidly make 50 of every single part you see on the car for wind tunnel testing. After wind tunnel testing we can chose the best design. This gives us the ability to test more parts for the same budget, which is a huge advantage for us. Not only can we build finished components a hundred times faster, but each part is infinitely more accurate.

""The changeover from last year's bodywork to a new aerodynamic package developed using ADM technology results in the Renault F1 Team racecar expected to go 1.5 seconds a lap quicker on the racetrack than earlier in the season. What's that worth in motor racing terms? You can't put a price on it.""

Flavio Briatore, managing director of Renault F1 Team said, ""Formula 1 is an intensely competitive environment in which the Renault F1 Team has historically excelled at developing crucial technological advantages over its rivals. To succeed again, we must collaborate with the strongest partners. I am delighted that 3D Systems has chosen the Renault F1 Team to showcase its innovative technology.""





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