The Renault F1 Team today announced the consolidation of their longstanding partnership with the solid imaging company 3D Systems for another five years. As part of this agreement, the two partners launched an Advanced Digital Manufacturing (ADM)...
The Renault F1 Team today announced the consolidation of their longstanding partnership with the solid imaging company 3D Systems for another five years. As part of this agreement, the two partners launched an Advanced Digital Manufacturing (ADM) Centre at Enstone as well as a joint project for its future development.
Rapid prototyping is a key factor in today's Formula 1. It allows teams to computer design, and then produce, parts for wind tunnel models, with the next steps leading to parts for testing or even racing. The time gains brought by this technology are spectacular: the ADM Centre will prove a strong asset for Technical Director Mike Gascoyne in the coming seasons. For example, the Team will be able to produce fifty different versions of each piece of bodywork for wind tunnel testing, with unequalled precision, before adopting them for the race team.
The margin of error is 0.1%: aerodynamic gains which, until now, were not even suspected, will be able to be made after approval. Ten gains of 0.1% represent a 1% step forward in performance: a significant amount in F1 terms. In a 24-hour period, the system will mean the Team can produce not just one, but several components, each with a unique detail. The ability to test more parts in the wind tunnel for the same budget is a welcome gain!
"I am extremely pleased to see our partnership with 3D Systems flourish," said Mike. "I have been a strong believer in this technology since it was introduced to Formula 1, and it is great to see a manufacturing structure of this capacity become exclusive to our factory. 3D Systems have been very responsive to the challenges posed by our environment: working together, our engineers have managed to push the boundaries of this technology into real world applications."
Flavio Briatore is also pleased with the partnership: "Renault has always nurtured innovation," he commented. "To succeed again, we must collaborate with the strongest partners. That is undoubtedly the case with 3D Systems."