Benefits of Translucent 3D Printing for Team Penske Were Clear

   By TriMech Marketing on October 23, 2020

This case study showcases Team Penske and how they utilize PolyJet materials to create a custom solution for expensive light replacements on racing cars.

Motorsport racing, as well as other professional sports, are no match for Team Penske who has a long standing tradition of winning. Part of their success is developing solutions to problems on and off the track. One expensive, recurring problem was the replacement of lights after consistent damage from racing. This led to the utilization of additive manufacturing to test new ideas and generate lower-cost replacement parts. From replacement parts to design ideas, Team Penske draws from the convenience of manufacturing in house.

The Challenge

Penske Racing LightsRunning lights that are used on Team Penske’s IMSA Acura sports cars tend to get damaged during racing, which can lead to costly replacements. Costs can get up to $12,000 for just six car sets. The original light configuration did not meet Team Penske’s needs for a quick and efficient way of replacing the lights without the outrageous expense.

They needed a way to produce a translucent material to match the color and texture of the original part and withstand the harsh environment of 24-hour racing. Even if they were able to find a way to have these parts made cheaper, it still needed to beat the one-week lead time that they were used to for replacement parts. This led to investing in 3D printing to solve all problems and bring the control back in their hands.

Using Additive Manufacturing

3D printed lightsThe goal of creating lower-cost lights and reducing the turnaround time for replacement parts was accomplished by 3D printing with Stratasys PolyJet technology. PolyJet brought translucent, durable material with VeroClearTM. VeroClear is most commonly known for mimicking PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate), commonly known as acrylic, which is commonly used in place of glass. They also used Digital ABSTM material for the housing based on its durability and its ability to withstand operating temps.

>> Learn more about PolyJet vs. ABS for Automotive

This powerful combo made off-the-shelf replacement lights pale in comparison to a 60% decrease in cost and lead-time savings. The multi-material capability of PolyJet incorporated transparency, texture and ABS housings that work together to withstand the rigors of racing, creating the perfect solution to Team Penske’s challenge of expensive light replacements.

Check out the full product story to get even more details on how Team Penske was able to utilize 3D printing on this project.

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