Nate Samson, Application Engineer with Markforged, and Tony Higgins, Markforged Federal Manager, have been involved since the beginning with Brian and his team. Nate donated his time and expertise to understand how Markforged could make the biggest impact for the first race the team would have after getting the printer, 24 Hours of Lemons at the NOLA Raceway.
"Markforged composite 3D printing and race cars go hand in hand. The Digital Forge offers materials that can withstand the intense racing environment, hardware that can produce parts alongside the pit crew at the track, and software to enable seamless printing." - Nate Samson, Markforged AE.
The two quickly got to work evaluating where printed parts could replace traditional or store bought parts. Producing strong parts with good surface finishes enabled them to determine where the printer could make the biggest impact.
The first priority they found was managing engine heat in a safe and cost effective way to protect the engine and the driver. Heat vents can be costly to manufacture in traditional ways, especially if customization is needed. 3D printing eliminates these restrictions. The base material of Onyx is perfect for industrial reasons and chemical resistivity. It’s tough and heat resistant, a great choice for withstanding engine heat and a nice surface finish to keep the cars aerodynamic.
Next comes custom brackets and mounts. When access to a regular supply chain is limited, be it during an endurance race or deployed on the front line, being able to quickly design and print custom brackets and mounts is critical.
"3D printing parts to help repair and modify old race cars is very similar to the use cases we see from our military customers printing parts at the point of need to maintain equipment. Whether the printing takes place at the race track or the battle field, Markforged printers are consistent and rugged enough to get the job done." Tony Higgins, Markforged Federal Manager.