Belgian racing team Heli had an engine problem. Specifically, under race conditions, the manifold of the four-cylinder turbo diesel in its BMW 1-series exploded, bursting along an ultrasonically welded seam that held together the manifold’s two halves. The team tried reinforcing the seam. But when the car returned to the track, during the middle of a race there was a familiar bang, a loss of power and a pit stop for a replacement manifold.
This did not enhance the team’s record.
To make a substitute manifold through traditional methods, stamping or casting, would be time-consuming and expensive, requiring tooling, molds and weeks to design and manufacture. In 2018 Heli took the problem to ZiggZagg, a Belgian company that fabricates parts using an HP 3D printer. ZiggZagg made a digital scan of the two-piece manifold and after 10 hours had a digital blueprint for a stronger, lighter, one-piece manifold. In […]
So-called 3D printing, sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing, is still very early in its evolution, using a...