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Cupra Racing has begun to implement 3D printing in the development of its new Leon Competition. Working in collaboration with HP, the manufacturing process promises to deliver greater efficiency and flexibility.
For the Cupra Leon Competition, the Spanish manufacturer used HP’s Jet Fusion 5200 3D printing solution to produce the steering wheel’s center control module, the bonnet air vents, door mirrors and the brake and water-cooling inlets.
“The main goal is to have a lot of parts in a short time,” explained Xavi Serra, head of technical development at CUPRA Racing. “We can quickly test a wide variety of designs and, since vehicle development is now done in parallel, this technology enables us to react swiftly to any changes in the design process”
In TCR competitions the door mirror is a part that must have the same shape as on the production car, but the Cupra engineers were keen to improve on the production component. “We wanted to add an additional function, which is to cool the driver,” said Serra. “We therefore had to add an air intake to the maximum pressure zone [of the door mirror]to achieve this effect.”
The final phase of the vehicle development took place at the Portimao track in Portugal, allowing the engineers to push the materials to their limit.
“The work with Cupra demonstrates the power of 3D printing and digital manufacturing – changing the way the world designs and manufactures,” said Virginia Palacios, head of systems product Management, 3D printing & digital manufacturing at HP.