Before the Italian Grand Prix the AM Chronicle team had this exclusive opportunity to interact with Pat Warner, Advanced Digital Manufacturing Manager at Renault DP World F1 Team who shared interesting insights on the how Additive Manufacturing has become critical for the success of F1 Teams.
Before we dive into the specifics, we would be keen to know how the journey has been for you in the Motorsport arena and your thoughts on how technology has evolved at F1.
We formed a Technical Partnership with 3D Systems in 1997 so we have been using additive manufacturing in various guises to aid our development for 22 years. On the polymer side, the advances have mainly been in speed and material performance allowing on car applications to develop further, but the relatively recent advances in metals offer us exciting challenges.
How big a role does Additive Manufacturing play in the case of F1 Teams like yours where speed of development, performance and safety is very important ?
Additive manufacturing has become critical to our performance, we have end use components on the car and inside the power unit that can only be made using additive manufacturing.
What have been the advantages of Additive Manufacturing at Renault DP World F1 Team, can you share examples of any components designed using Additive Manufacturing and how it has been better over using Conventional manufacturing?
We have designed performance enhancing components on a Friday, manufactured overnight, delivered them to the track and fitted them in time for qualifying on a Saturday. For these specific parts, this would not have been possible with any other form of manufacturing. As examples, we have manufactured the inertia coil and pilot tube (refer to picture below). These components have complex internal channels and we can now inspect them accurately thanks to CT scan and the relationship with our metrology supplier, Volume Graphics.
Would like to share any specific expectations with the Additive Manufacturing community which will make it easier for you to use the technology and implement it ?
F1 regulations for 2022 are changing to allow the teams to use materials that are currently banned for use on our cars. These materials can only be used if the parts are manufactured using Additive Manufacturing. Increased performance of materials will undoubtedly lead to increased usage on car as structures become stronger, stiffer and lighter.
We would like to Thank Luca Mazzocco, Head of Technological Partnerships, Renault DP World F1 Team for helping us coordinate for this interview.