Air Engine Assemblies, Formula SAE
Delivering form, fit and function, the Form 1+ desktop 3D printer is a tool for functional prototyping. Pictured above is a model of a single piston air engine assembly that our own Kevin Gautier created and printed on the Form 1+ 3D printer. The 10-piece model features a fully functional piston, rod, crankshaft, cam and intake valve. When connected to compressed air, the piston assembly operates automatically. In a car engine, a medley of pistons is what powers the drive shaft that rotates the wheels.
Made out of moving parts, this assembly needed dimensional accuracy and specific tolerances to allow for functional threads, and internal passageways. Fine-finishing the Form 1+ print yielded seamless movement of the 10-part piston assembly.
During the design process, Kevin was able to quickly iterate his designs on the Form 1+. Upon realizing his original piston was too large to function properly, for instance, he was able to adjust and reprint his part until it yielded the right fit.
Intake Manifold for Formula SAE
Formula SAE is an intercollegiate design and race competition held by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Every year, college Formula SAE teams take a formula car from design to production, and compete with other teams at Formula SAE competitions.
For 2014, Kevin developed the intake manifold for Southern Polytechnic State University's Formula SAE race car. Pictured below is a scale model of the intake air manifold printed in grey, white, and black resin on the Form 1+.
The intake air manifold is a series of tubes that channels air into each of the cylinders, so as to enable the equal mix of air and fuel needed to drive combustion. Clear resin for the plenum allows people to see the internal design of the inlet trumpets. The fit and function of the intake air manifold was delivered by the high resolution Form 1+ stereolithography print.