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AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN


The impressive results were


enabled by Carbon’ 3D’s Digital Light Synthesis technology


How the Hornet Racing Formula SAE team improved engine performance with the use of 3D printing technology


cars. Each year, the team designs, builds and tests a Formula-style, open-wheel, single- seat car in preparation for an international Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) competition with other universities. Competition guidelines are intended to challenge participants and encourage creativity in tackling difficult design and engineering problems. In 2017, Hornet Racing used Carbon


H


3D’s end-to-end digital design and 3D manufacturing capabilities to revolutionise the engine’s intake manifold, optimising performance in ways that were previously impossible. An intake manifold is essential to an engine’s function and car performance. Te manifold supplies an air/ fuel mixture to the engine’s cylinders.


6 www.engineerlive.com


ornet Racing, a student engineering organisation at California State University, USA, prides itself on engineering highly competitive race


Te results of the redesign were staggering. Enabled by Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis technology, the team achieved: a new engine intake manifold design that is impossible to produce with other technologies, reducing weight by 50%; a substantial reduction in the number of weld joints through part consolidation; smoother airflow to the cylinder head, enabling a more consistent power delivery - a drastic upgrade from prior years; and significantly improved overall engine performance.


DESIGN CHALLENGES: THE ENGINE INTAKE MANIFOLD Hornet Racing’s car uses a Honda CBR600RR series, four-cylinder engine, which comes with four individual throttle bodies (one for each cylinder) that are each 44mm in diameter, placed very close to the cylinder head. Trottle bodies control


VERY FINE TUNING


airflow to an engine based on a driver’s acceleration pedal input. Having four throttle bodies maximises throttle response and performance of the engine, with revolutions up to 14,000rpm. However, per Formula SAE design challenge guidelines, stock throttle bodies must be removed and replaced with a single throttle for all four cylinders. Additionally, guidelines dictate that a 20mm diameter restrictor must be placed behind the single throttle, creating a performance constraint akin to someone needing to breathe through a narrow straw or coffee stirrer. Tis restrictor significantly limits the engine’s power output, and challenges students to rethink the design and engineering of the engine structure. Te design of Hornet Racing engines


also resulted in drivability difficulties related to throttle response and smooth power delivery. When the driver attempted to accelerate by pressing the throttle to


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