We, Cardiff Racing, are a group of Cardiff University mechanical and electrical engineering students that take part in a competition called formula student. The challenge, set by the Institute of mechanical engineers, is to design and build a formula 1 style race car. The contest happens each year. A large number of teams exist representing universities from all over the world and competitions take place in a number of countries each summer including one held at Silverstone. We design and manufacture as much of our cars as we can in house.
The Ultimaker 3D printer donated to the team by Ultimaker has been used within Cardiff Racing to create prototype parts for our cars as well as for small applications such as printing covers used to protect the driver from sharp bolt ends. Such applications though apparently simple would have been much more difficult and costly if done by other means.
Last year Cardiff Racing used the Ultimaker to 3D print prototype grips for its steering wheel (above) as well as to create a model for aerofoil wings (below).
The Ultimaker in these two instances has been particularly useful to the team. A large number of our competitors already use wings on their vehicles but it is an area that Cardiff only began to look into a year ago. The quality of finish and speed of printing of the Ultimaker make it ideal for our particular needs. Making models in this way allows us to run real physical tests on objects that can then be compared with data generated by computational fluid analysis.