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3D Systems Corp. has joined forces in a technology and marketing alliance with Penske Racing for its NASCAR Winston Cup programs.
Penske Racing uses 3D Systems solid imaging technology to build prototype parts for Winston Cup Series cars driven by Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman. The process enables Penske engineers to produce new parts easily and quickly from computer-aided design (CAD) data — a necessity for making quick adjustments to improve the performance of their cars between racing events.
As part of the marketing alliance, Penske uses an SLA(R) 5000 system and a ThermoJet(R) solid object printer from 3D Systems. The machines, in use and on display at Penske Racing headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., create concept models, visual aids and wind tunnel models, as well as aid in the production of final assemblies fitted on the racecars.
According to Nelson Cosgrove, lead engineer for Penske Racing, the SLA system allows Penske Racing to create highly detailed components for the aerodynamic research program. “Many of the pieces that we create for the wind tunnel model have integrated pressure tappings, which allows us to measure pressure changes in components that would have been impossible with other manufacturing methods.
“Stereolithography has some clear advantages over carbon fiber or fabricated aluminum components when it comes to flexibility and ease of manufacturing,” Cosgrove added. “The SLA 5000 system gives Penske Racing the tight accuracy required for scale model testing, giving us an immediate competitive advantage.”
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