June 29--3D Systems Corp. announced today that Renault F1 Team installed a Sinterstation Pro SLS system at its Advanced Digital Manufacturing (ADM) Centre in Enstone, England. This is the first of these new systems to be installed in Europe.
The Renault F1 ADM Centre supports all its Formula 1 design, wind tunnel, full-scale application and production molds, patterns, and parts for the Renault F1 Team racecar. In addition to the newly commissioned Sinterstation Pro system, the ADM Centre operates five SLA 7000 systems and two Vanguard HS SLS systems.
"Rapid direct manufacturing plays a significant role in the develoment and manufacturing of our racing cars," says John Mardle, Renault F1 Team operations director. "Because the Sinterstation Pro SLS system was designed as a true manufacturing system, it is an ideal addition to our ADM Centre. With substantially greater build capacity, tighter closed-loop controls and automated materials delivery and tracking available on the new system, we expect to produce larger parts, components, and patterns even faster than we do now in support of our rapid development and rigorous on-track testing iterations and to manufacture more and more on-car, ready-for-race parts directly on our newly acquired Sinterstation Pro."
"We know that there is a direct correlation between how many parts we test in the wind tunnel and the level of competitiveness we reach on the track," says Bob Bell, technical director for Renault F1 Team. "In 2004, we tested 13,000 stereolithography wind tunnel car components thanks to the gains in speed and efficiency brought to us by technology from 3D Systems, enabling us to continue improving on-track performance until the final races of the season. In addition to this, we use QuickCast patterns to manufacture our titanium investment castings."
"When we introduced SLS technology in our Advanced Digital Manufacturing Centre last year, we found that it gave us the ability to produce specific car components in tenths of the time it used to take with traditional injection molds, and all our on-car rubber comonents are now manufactured using LaserForm A6 tools. The addition of the new Sinterstation Pro will enable us to increase our production speeds and expand our SLS part utilization realizing significant time and cost savings," concludes Bell.
The Sinterstation Pro SLS systems, Models 140 and 230, feature intelligent process controls, modular design, automated powder handling, and the largest available laser sintering build volume.
For more information, visit www.3dsystems.com.