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Airtech to preview circularity of large-scale 3D printed tooling at JEC 2024

With case studies like the Brumos Racing mold, and live printing from multiple different partner companies

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Airtech Advanced Material Group has recently played a pivotal role in enhancing the Brumos Collection’s Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport for 2023’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race. In support of this program, it provided all essential materials – leveraging its technical expertise and design support. Thanks to the company’s multiple cross-industry partnerships – and its Dahltram C-250CF Polycarbonate, carbon fiber-reinforced material made from recycled tooling waste – it has demonstrated the circular lifecycle capabilities for 3D printed tooling. The Brumos Racing mold will be on display at this year’s JEC, at booth #G41 in hall 5.

Previous efforts in motorsports tooling would often include the production of a foam master model followed by a composite mold to be used only to make a limited number of parts. After their use, both the foam master and composite mold would be discarded. Combating this, Airtech’s team of experts has created a sustainable approach for producing 3D printed composite mold tools – made from an energy-intensive, engineering-grade, recyclable thermoplastic. This approach removes the need for a master mold and saves time, energy, and waste.

Airtech to preview circularity of large-scale 3D printed tooling at JEC 2024, with the Brumos Racing mold, and live printing.

In collaboration with Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL), Airtech utilized its advanced 3D printing materials and techniques, and grinding and reprocessing capabilities, to bring The Brumos Collection’s vision to life. The result was the production of a new high-temperature mold for a carbon-fiber aerodynamic splitter that diverts air under the car – increasing aerodynamic downforce.

The new mold successfully produced an improved splitter – generating more downforce and giving the car better traction and stability to navigate the mountain’s sharp turns, at more than 140mph. All of this was done at a fraction of the cost, with a fraction of the environmental impact.

The result of this development was an exciting race at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb where The Brumos Collection and their esteemed driver, David Donohue, raced to the top of Pikes Peak in a record-breaking 9:18:053 – securing the win in his class (time attack 1). This win is a prime example of the potential of 3D printing to enable a circular economy in which materials from a variety of clean energy applications are reused multiple times over – with enhanced efficiency and performance.

Airtech will continue to develop, test, and validate future sustainable solutions to expand the performance envelope for additively manufactured tools – both from an innovative design perspective as well as to improve the mechanical performance of the Dahltram resin system to increase the appeal of 3D printing compared to traditional tooling approaches.

Airtech to preview circularity of large-scale 3D printed tooling at JEC 2024, with the Brumos Racing mold, and live printing.

In November 2023, at Formnext, the company launched the new Dahltram T-100GF resin, its first recycled grade thermoplastic polymer resin for pellet-fed, large-scale 3D printing.

Airtech will also display its Aircraft Fairing Vacuum Trimming Fixture, 3D printed using Dahltram C-250GF, in the JEC Innovation Planet Mobility area, in Hall 6. As a partner of the EmpowerAX project, Airtech won the JEC Award 2024 in the ‘Aerospace Processes’ category. As part of a team of AM experts, the company used its expertise in material consultation and supply of short fiber-reinforced, high-performance polymer Dahltram I-350CF to realize this project. The EmpowerAX Demo Part realized by DLR and the other 12 partners will be displayed at Weber’s booth #P138 in hall 5.

Partners printing live with Airtech materials at JEC include Belotti, printing with Dahltram C-250CF 6G61; Caracol, printing with Dahltram C-250CF – 5L116; CEAD, printing with Dahltram C-250CF – 5Q58; CMS, printing with Dahltram C-150CF – 5N58; Multiax, printing with Dahltram T-100GF – 5M88; and Thermwood, printing with Dahltram I-350 – 6P52.

Airtech to preview circularity of large-scale 3D printed tooling at JEC 2024, with the Brumos Racing mold, and live printing.

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