Automotive AMSports

New Sauber Alfa Romeo F1 features 143 3D printed parts

Hamilton may have the new DAS wheel but Raikkonen's got additive

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Showing off during tests at the Barcelona Circuit, Additive Industries‘ Technology Partner F1 team Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen dropped its special snakeskin livery camouflage on the C39 and revealed the latest changes in the 2020 season bodywork. Race drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi, alongside reserve driver Robert Kubica and development driver Tatiana Calderon, pulled the covers off the C39 during a roll-out presentation in the pitlane at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Raikkonen liked the feeling of the new C39. “For my first testing day, it was an ok one – he said. The important thing is that everything seems to be working well, with no major issues. The immediate feeling is pretty positive, but it’s still early days. There is still a long way to go but I think we made a step forward compared to last year: who knows where this is going to take us, but so far so good.”

Alfa Romeo F1

Additive Industries reported that the total count of the 143 metal 3D printed parts includes 58 titanium parts, 19 high-performance aluminum alloy, and 66 AlSi10Mg parts, printed on Sauber Engineering’s 4 MetalFAB1 systems. Using additive to produce these parts reduced the car’s weight by at least 2%, which is significant in terms of F1 performance.  The part type ranges from chassis inserts to cooling circuit piping, including safety structures, lightweight fairings, electronic component installation and bodywork components, as confirmed by the technical director Jan Monchaux.

Sauber has been investing significantly in AM technologies with positive results in the last season. In 2018 the F1 team signed a three-year technology partnership, which sought to leverage Additive Industries’ metal 3D printing technology. As of today, the partnership has been extended to five years. Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team acquired its third MetalFAB1 system in 2019 and extended its second system with the addition of an extra build chamber to increase productivity.

In 2018 Sauber had also installed five large-format ProX 800 SLA 3D printers from 3D Systems, joined an already extensive arsenal of 3D Systems polymer SLS and SLA 3D printers. In addition, Sauber is leveraging its experience and capabilities to provide additive manufacturing services and expertise to 3rd parties.

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