Racing In the direction of Success: The Formulation SAE Journey with 3D Printing

What’s the perfect scholar engineering competitors on the earth? In the event you’re into motorsports in any respect, there’s just one clear reply: Formulation SAE. Or Formulation Scholar, for those who’re in Europe. Greater than 500 scholar groups from universities worldwide construct, take a look at, and race small Formulation-like automobiles. Launched in 1981, the challenge gives an incredible expertise and profession preparation for future engineers. And it’s additionally an excellent surroundings to make the most of some 3D printing…


To be clear, we at Prusa Analysis love trendy know-how and help creativity and good options. That’s why many individuals listed below are die-hard Formulation followers. And that’s one of many explanation why we sponsor and help Formulation 2 and three groups like Charouz Racing System. We’re additionally excited in regards to the variety of  Formulation Scholar racing groups throughout Europe (groups like eForce FEE Prague Formulation, Rennteam of the College of Stuttgart, and plenty of extra) that use our 3D printers. On this Prusa Story, we’d like to ask you proper into the neighborhood of the legendary Leaning Tower – the place the E-Group Squadra Corse of the College of Pisa develops their award-winning racing automobiles with slightly assist from the Authentic Prusa 3D printers.

15 years on the monitor

E-Group Squadra Corse made its debut in 2008 on the Italian Formulation SAE competitors in Fiorano with the primary race automotive “ET1” designed and constructed by the scholars. At the moment, the workforce consisted of simply 40 folks, and even with a restricted funds, they managed to complete an endurance take a look at in third place out of 11 Italian groups. Right this moment, the workforce has over 100 members, divided into a number of departments, with college students caring for every thing from growth and logistics to finance, marketing strategy, and advertising and marketing.

Actually, this is a crucial rule of Formulation SAE – every thing needs to be performed by the scholars – in order that they’ll achieve expertise by dealing with the identical challenges as skilled groups. They need to overcome quite a few obstacles after which face the competitors. However the reward is tempting – skilled racing groups watch Formulation SAE intently, all the time looking out for brand spanking new expertise…

However again to the E-Group Squadra Corse. Their monitor report introduced them tutorial recognition, higher funding, and an inflow of recent expertise into the workforce. One in every of them is Andrea D’Ambrogio, the format supervisor and one of many workforce leaders.

“The workforce began from scratch, however all the time confirmed nice ambition,” says Andrea with delight.

Slowly however certainly, the workforce grew not solely in numbers but additionally in achievements, profitable awards reminiscent of Greatest Value Report in Formulation ATA and Formulation Scholar Germany, Greatest Enterprise Plan in Formulation ATA and FSG, Greatest Value Report CV and Greatest Design DV in Formulation ATA. In 2022, they added the Erre Prize “Know How, Agility and Downside Fixing” to the gathering.

“In 2021 we introduced two automobiles to the competitors: Galileo with a combustion engine, and Kerubless, a driverless automotive and an incredible achievement within the growth of an autonomous driving system geared up with sensors, additionally developed by the workforce,” says Andrea, presenting their progress.

And their aim for this season, the workforce’s fifteenth one, is to make an electrical automotive.

What do they print?

An Authentic Prusa 3D printer turned a part of their workshop final season – they usually use it rather a lot! One of many seen 3D printed components are paddles for shifting gears on the steering wheel. One other, a much less seen instance is brackets for spacers on the automotive. With every half, they usually experiment with the quantity of infill and printing patterns.

With the electrical automotive in growth and the driverless automotive already in competitors, there will probably be much more 3D printing. For instance, the entire geometry of the steering wheel is totally different for every kind of automotive – however that’s no drawback when you might have an unique Prusa MK3S+ at your disposal. You possibly can customized print a steering wheel tailored for every driver’s palms.

“To this point now we have printed housings for digital elements, chassis fittings, brackets, spacers, and plenty of different objects with particular shapes,” says Andrea.

Probably the most troublesome gadgets to design is the computing unit (PC field) for the driverless automotive – there are plenty of elements, they’ve to suit right into a small house, and it’s important to take into consideration cooling as effectively… On high of that, it’s important to maintain water out of the field. That’s why E-Group Squadra Corse used a mix of metallic case and 3D-printed covers. And it really works superbly!

“Having a 3D printer available permits us to invent and customise machine elements at any time, which might in any other case be way more difficult to acquire with every other manufacturing know-how,” says Andrea.

Greatest advantages

When requested about the advantages of 3D printing, Andrea is fast to reply:

“The constraints that 3D printing permits us to beat are primarily the ready time for customized elements, which are sometimes not even commercially obtainable,” says Andrea, exhibiting us the print time calculations in PrusaSlicer. “It’s hours as a substitute of days you’d watch for a industrial product,” smiles Andrea.

For varied components, they use a number of totally different filaments: PLA, PETG, ABS, TPU, carbon nylon, and carbon PETG. And with every utility, they study extra in regards to the supplies, which helps them plan higher for the next seasons.

When it comes to software program, E-Group Squadra Corse makes use of SolidWorks for half design and PrusaSlicer for slicing:

“PrusaSlicer is likely one of the best and most helpful software program on the Web,” says Andrea. We’re glad to listen to that 🙂

See you on the race monitor!

There’s plenty of pleasure within the air forward of the brand new season – the workforce can’t wait to get out on the monitor and take a look at all their concepts towards different groups. And we’re excited to see what number of automotive components will probably be 3D printed and the way it will assist the workforce compete and – fingers crossed – win!

However this Prusa story already has a contented ending:

“Now that we’ve gotten used to having a printer able to go, it’s arduous to think about life with out one,” Andrea admits.

And as for the long run, Andrea could be very optimistic:

“Personally, I’m assured within the growth of this area. I hope that sooner or later we will use additive manufacturing for mass manufacturing, particularly within the automotive sector,” says Andrea.

Preserve it going, guys!



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