World Champion Superbike Racing team, uses FDM printing for manufacturing functional parts
We have to take into account rapid changing conditions in temperature, mechanical loads and vibrations. Innofil3D ABS Fusion⁺ fulfils our requirements.
“Material performance is extremely important for us, especially when we want to use 3D-printed parts on our race bikes. We have to take into account rapid changing conditions in temperature, mechanical loads and vibrations. Innofil3D ABS Fusion⁺ fulfils our requirements. Another great advantage is that it is also easy to print. We are a racing team and I am not a full-time 3D-printing operator.”
Bastiaan Huisjes, R&D Engineer at Ten Kate Racing
Ten Kate Racing – Introduction
Ten Kate Racing has been active in the World Superbike Championship since 2004 using Honda racing motors. As a former World Champion, the team always strives for excellence in performance.
Their pursuit of flexible and faster manufacturing of parts led to the collaboration with Innofil3D. Our objective was to create a material which meets the requirements for high-speed motor racing and is easy to use in a desktop 3D-printer. With Innofil3D ABS Fusion⁺ we provided an engineering filament for Ten Kate Racing which meets these criteria.
Speed Up Development and Production Time
Ten Kate Racing is a multiple champion in the World Supersport and Superbike Championship, which consist of twelve races in eleven different countries and four continents. In contrary to for example Formula1 the World Superbike teams have to work with standard road motorcycles and transform these bikes into full race spec race bikes. In the past they produced parts ‘the classic way’ by designing and milling parts taking several weeks. The engineers of Ten Kate had some experience with outsourcing 3D-printed prototypes. But at the end of the 2016 season the team decided it was time to explore possibilities to 3D-print parts in-house to speed up development and production
The moment the team decided to explore 3D-printing opportunities, they knew they had to start with materials. Bastiaan Huisjes R&D engineer at Ten Kate Racing: “Material performance is extremely important for us, especially when using 3D-printed parts on our racing bikes. We have to take into account rapid changing conditions in temperature, mechanical loads and vibrations. So materials had to be the starting point for us.”
At the same time Polyscope Polymers and Innofil3D were exploring options to develop an ABS grade which was optimized for 3D-printing. The companies wanted to tackle well-known issues like warping, difficult processability and adhesion to water soluble support. With the request of Ten Kate Racing in the back of their mind, Innofil3D knew they had the opportunity to develop an engineering grade filament which was optimized for 3D-printing and allowed for the hassle-free printing of functional parts.
From that point on the companies decided to work together on the development of this new filament. Innofil3d offered a 3D-printer from their lab so Ten Kate Racing could create parts they needed and test the material performance. This is how Innofil3D ABS Fusion⁺ “made with Polyscope XILOY™ 3D” was realized.
Easy to Use
During the 2017 pre-season and season Ten Kate Racing, Polyscope and Innofil3D worked on improving the features with a focus on low warping, easy to use, high heat resistance and adhesion to water soluble support. Usability is one of the key features the companies have been focussing on as Bastiaan explains: “For me, it is important that a material like Innofil3D ABS Fusion⁺ is easy to process. We are a racing team and I am not a full-time 3D-printing operator.”
Increased Flexibility in Parts Design
With a material like Innofil3D ABS Fusion⁺ Ten Kate Racing was able to realize multiple advantages. Bastiaan: “The spacer for the dashboard is a good example. Designing and milling of this part would have taken us at least 3 weeks. Now the whole process is reduced to just one week. A material like Innofil3D ABS Fusion⁺ enables us to use more and more 3D-printed parts on our racing bikes and it gives the flexibility and performance/quality we need.”
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