Goodwood 2022: the automotive breakthrough of 3D printing at the Festival of Speed

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With the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​in full swing, motoring enthusiasts around the world have started descending on the rural south of England.

Already during the historic climb, exhibitors showcased a plethora of parts that reflect the growing effectiveness of 3D printing in meeting automotive needs, ranging from tooling to motorcycle components. However, it was Czinger Vehicles’ UK debut with the 21C, an extensively 3D-printed 1,250hp hypercar, that really stole the show.

Speaking to 3D Printing Industry at the event, company founder Kevin Czinger revealed for the first time the full extent of his adoption of the Divergent Adaptive Production System (DAPS) developed by his other company, Divergent Technologies.

Czinger explained how the 21C’s chassis and suspension are almost entirely 3D printed, and in the future he plans to use DAPS to achieve greater part consolidation.

“If you look at the chassis itself, almost the entire chassis structure is designed, printed and assembled using DAPS,” Czinger explained. “Like the whole suspension system, it’s things like the shocks, it’s all 3D printed. I would say the intake and exhaust parts of the engine are also all 3D printed. What I would add , is that this is the first stage of this type of 3D printing, what you will see in a more advanced stage is the taking of two different subsystems to create a unified system.

The Czinger 21C hypercar at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Photo by Paul Hanaphy.

The Czinger 21C debut at Goodwood

Ahead of this year’s Festival of Speed, Czinger Vehicles managed to capture unprecedented media attention, at least for an automotive 3D printing company. The 21C’s run-out at the Laguna Seca circuit, where it would have broken the lap record for production cars, only served to spark intrigue around a car that combines futuristic design with a sufficiently advanced manufacturing process.

While the famous Goodwood climb is lined with hay bales, making it nearly impossible to optimize the 21C’s performance, Czinger Vehicles still managed to get it off to an uneventful start. Additionally, Czinger explained that the vehicle’s hill-climbing is just the start of DAPS, and its unique setup could soon unlock performance gains that simply aren’t possible on conventionally built cars.

“At a later stage, we’ll start to see the ‘functional integration’ of the brake nodes, combining the strut of the front end of the suspension and the brake caliper,” Czinger said. “This will reduce the mass of the combined structures by 40%. Imagine reducing two major subsystems by 5kg or more per corner, you are able to optimize structures and also increase stiffness by around 30%.

Following the successful release of 21C, which Czinger himself described as “super good”, he went on to suggest that the future of DAPS may not be so far in the future. While the entrepreneur isn’t keen on what his company’s next vehicle will look like, he revealed he plans to continue creating “consistently groundbreaking cars”, with his latest set to be unveiled at Pebble Beach in August 2022.

The engine compartment of the Czinger 21C.  Photo by Paul Hanaphy.
The engine compartment of the Czinger 21C. Photo by Paul Hanaphy.

Prototyping still relevant

While the 21C has undoubtedly been Goodwood’s most high-profile 3D printing application, exhibitors elsewhere at the event made it clear that the technology continues to be used primarily for automotive prototyping. .

One of the exhibitors, Teng Tools, may not have 3D printing engineers on the rise, or even use the technology in the UK, but his team suggested that it be deployed at the Swedish headquarters of the company. Since installing its first 3D printer in 2018, the company has found it easier to prototype ergonomic tools, both for internal use and for customers.

Ohlins, who himself announced the adoption of Exmet 3D printing in 2013, also unveiled his use of the technology at the event. According to its ATV sales and marketing manager, Alex Boyle, the company is 3D printing parts such as mounting forks and prototype head gaskets, although he added that the introduction of a new machine tools has somewhat reduced its activities in these areas.

Teng Tools' tent at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed.  Photo by Paul Hanaphy.
Teng Tools’ tent at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Photo by Paul Hanaphy.

Elsewhere, Thornton Hundred Motorcycles has revealed that it is deploying not only 3D printing, but also 3D scanning, in the production of custom motorcycle parts. Alex Minshall, head of design engineering at the company, explained in its exhibit area how technologies help ensure the end quality of its products and develop those that drive performance, such as enclosures thermally optimized supercharging.

“We do a lot of work on compressors, where we remove the stator housing on the crank to incorporate a pulley that winds the compressor. These are very high tolerance parts,” Minshall said. “With 3D scanning, we We also do clearances for parts like the passenger seats, where there are a lot of moving parts.This allows us to start CAD, that way you don’t have to do multiple measurements.

“We also have an Ultimaker that we are constantly running prototypes on. He’s an absolute workhorse,” he added. “There’s also the material station underneath, which allows us to work with multiple materials like nylons, but we pretty much work with tough PLA and sometimes use PVA for structures. It’s a cost-cutting exercise for us…and it allows us to reduce our waste, because we’re pretty environmentally conscious.

A Triumph fitted with a custom Thornton Hundred Motorcycles compressor case.  Photo by Paul Hanaphy.
A Triumph fitted with a custom Thornton Hundred Motorcycles compressor case. Photo by Paul Hanaphy.

Climb that hill with 3D printing

In the garage area, a number of other manufacturers were showcasing vehicles with performance-enhancing 3D printed parts, showing that Czinger Vehicles is not alone in innovating with this technology. Radford-backed F1 World Champion Jenson Button showcased his reimagined Lotus Type 62-2 at the event, featuring over 500 Stratasys Direct-3D printed components.

Manufacturers such as Mercedes have also launched vehicles with never-before-seen 3D printed parts at Goodwood, including its Vision EQXX concept car. The all-electric motor, which recently managed to travel a record 1,008 km on a single charge, is said to feature several nature-inspired printed components designed to deliver 15-20% weight savings without compromising reliability.

Likewise, BMW showed off its new 503bhp 2023 M3 Touring at the event, putting it through the famous hill climb. Driven by the Duke of Richmond no less, the station wagon, fitted with a 3D-printed lip spoiler fitted above its rear window, swept the track without incident, despite wet weather conditions.

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Featured image shows the start/finish line at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Photo by Paul Hanaphy.

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