Versatility and Speed of 3D Printing; Used as End Parts for University Racing Team
“We have decided to bet on 3D printing because of its versatility and speed. We are working on the development of an electric motorcycle, whose geometries differ greatly from those of a traditional motorcycle and 3D printing allowed us to make a completely customized fairing that perfectly adapted to the measurements of our vehicle.
In terms of materials, the JCR work a very wide range, which allowed us to work with a plastic that worked well aerodynamically, was not excessively heavy and worked well mechanically (being able to get to mechanize if necessary).
Finally, the deadtimes of our project force us to work with very fast solutions. In less than a week we received the pieces, compared to the months that are required to obtain the same pieces through a traditional process.”
Daniel Suñén Angós, Propulsion Advisor, Team Leader
EUPLA Racing Team – Introduction
The Polytechnic University School of the Almunia de Doña Godina (EUPLA) is a public centre attached to the University of Zaragoza, which is located in the town of La Almunia de Doña Godina in the province of Zaragoza, in the Autonomous Community of Aragon.
Optimization of the initial design to be 3D printed.
Generation of printing codes: Using CAM Simplify3D software in order to programme the printing process according to the settings listed above.
Manufacturing using a large format JCR 1000 3D printer: The printing code generated is loaded into the printer to launch the manufacture of black EP material, creating the various parts as separate prints.
Cleaning of the supports: Removal of support structures, previously created and optimized with the help of the Simplify3D software and the experience of the technician responsible for generating a printing code.
After the simple removal of the support piece, the connection between the support piece and the material is sanded to remove any residual material from the support.
Assembly and post-processing
Having manufactured and removed the support, the following step was to assemble the parts that had been separated as part of the design process. To facilitate assembly, the different parts include a series of tabs allowing for a surface overlap between the different parts to reinforce the point of union. See an example below.
A resin was used to join the parts, and a resin with glass fibre was used to reinforce the joints and some parts of pieces which constitute areas of concentrated force, such as the fairing attached to the chassis, which supports
the pilot’s weight.
After the race, we analysed how the fairing performed both during the assembly phase and the race, and it was noted that it bore the force and the resistance to which it was subjected in the competition with no problem whatsoever.
Cost and Time Saved using 3D Printing
- Material cost €228 for 3D printing the end parts for the motorcycle which took 240 hours of printing time.
- Having the quick access to 3D printing technology gave the team the ability to create custom-made parts for the motorbike, which would not be possible without huge costs.
- Having the power to make unlimited changes to the design of parts saved huge amounts of time if external sources were used they would be huge waits for lead time to produce the final product.
- We could design, print and test within a week – multiple times. FDM brings the possibility to make something impossible with traditional methods.