Joe Gibbs Racing

Joe Gibbs Racing

Joe Gibbs Racing

When it comes to safety, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) design engineers do not leave anything to chance. Thanks to a new SR-100 soluble support material use with FDM from Stratasys, they can now create complex carbon monoxide filter housings for their cars using polycarbonate (PC) material, which has a higher temperature rating than the previous material used.

Brian Levy – JGR designer commented:

We are now very comfortable producing quality production parts using our Fortus system. We don’t worry about them melting or failing during a race

Joe Gibbs Racing is a premier NASCAR organization with three sponsored cars. It’s engineers design and develop parts to enhance the performance of these cars, while maintaining the highest possible safety standards for the drivers. Using FDM to accelerate product development, they create concept models, functional prototypes, manufacturing tools and even end-use parts.

A Safer Car

Each JGR vehicle contains a filter mounted in line with the drivers air conditioning unit that helps clean the air blown in to the drivers helmet.

Brian Levy comments

The filter reduces carbon monoxide levels to make the environment safe for our drivers

The housing sits close to the cars floor and exhaust system where it’s exposed to temperatures as high as 200F.

The filter itself is housed in a two-piece assembly that snaps together permanently, making it single- use. In addition to high temperatures, the housings must withstand the vibration of a speeding race car.

Design Freedom

Because the SR-100 support material washes away from the part after it has been built, design engineers have the freedom to make the part as  complex as they want. In the past JGR was hesitant to produce the part with FDM because, while PC offered strength and heat resistance, no soluble support material was available for use with PC. Supports were broken away by hand, making it difficult to clean cavities, especially on parts with complex geometries, like the filter housing.

Levy commented:

The complex design of the part makes it ideal for an FDM application. To design these parts to work the way we want them to, we need complex geometry. If we tried to machine the part, we would be forced to sacrifice some of it’s performance to satisfy machining constraints.

In addition to this, Levy and his colleagues want to take some of the load off the CNC department, so using the 3D printer they were able to take work off their plate.