A 450bhp racecar that competed in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans featuring a host of 3D printed parts will be on display at the Thinktank science museum in Birmingham from 28th July for six weeks. The car is a 300 km/h DOME S103 prototype that was fielded by British racing team Strakka Racing at the round the clock Le Mans endurance classic last year.
3D printing takes computer designs and, in the case of Strakka Racing, is used to create parts for use on the track. The parts are made by Strakka using a special printer from Stratasys. The technology has been used to design everything from parts for an Airbus to artificial human organs.
“This project is a good example of how 3D printing could change the way we build racing cars,” said team principal Dan Walmsley. “Strakka has shown that parts made on printers can be just as durable as normal pieces, but we can make them faster and without expensive tooling. We could even make new parts in the garage at the track.”
The team has been a frontrunner in the application of 3D printing technology in the motorsports world; from creating scale models for wind tunnel testing to parts for the actual car. An estimated 5 percent of the S103’s parts were 3D printed.
Lisa Stallard, manager at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum said, “It is fantastic to be able to display a race car that has had such an international impact to our Thinktank visitors this summer. Our iconic car and motorbike collections are always popular and by displaying the Le Mans car next to them we hope visitors will enjoy seeing the contrast between the technological changes.”
“We are always looking for ways to showcase how developments in the scientific world, like 3D printing technology, can have a positive impact and invoke change, and Strakka’s Le Mans car is a brilliant example of this happening in the automotive industry.”
The car will be on show from 28th July for six weeks at the Thinktank, an award-winning science museum in the centre of Birmingham.