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Scuderia Ferrari did again, now using 3D printing for sensor mounts

The team seems to have fully embraced AM on various levels

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After the story we reported on the team’s use of metal AM for the cylinder block, Scuderia Ferrari F1 has turned to 3D printing again, this time for polymer PBF 3D printed sensor mounts, fitted on the F1-75 during the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Friday practice session.

It should be noted that the tests were conducted before the recent underwhelming results, which, however, seem to be due to bad luck more than lackluster vehicle performance. According to a LinkedIn post by Andrew Cunningham, Additive Manufacturing Product Development Engineer at General Motors (another company that has embraced AM at various levels), “the Scuderia tested a new front wing that weekend and likely wanted to measure inboard and outboard front wing height under pitch, roll, and heave via laser ride height sensors.”

Scuderia Ferrari did again, now using 3D printing for sensor mounts, as the F1 team seems to have fully embraced AM on various levels

Scuderia Ferrari did again, now using 3D printing for sensor mounts, as the F1 team seems to have fully embraced AM on various levels From the pictures, it comes clearly across how additive manufacturing (AM) could be easily employed to match the complex front wing geometries directly from digital surfaces (CAD). “Every time I see parts like this made with AM, I think about how much work and time is saved by not having to manufacture these via another method such as composite layups or machining,” Cunningham writes.

The parts in the images are likely unfilled or fiber-filled nylon, 3D printed with powder bed fusion technology such as SLS or MJF. This material offers a good balance of strength, stiffness, impact resistance, and cost. “Lastly – Cunningham points out – because there may be a raised eyebrow or two, the tape securing the wiring is not a simple household type, but helicopter leading-edge protection tape that provides high stretchability, smooth surface finish, and no residue at a high cost of about a dollar per foot or about 300 mm.”

 

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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