September 2016



A Letchworth prototyping company has helped “bring to life” a unique racing car designed by a group of students for an annual high-tech competition.

Ogle Models was asked to create parts for the vehicle which took a year to design as part of the world’s biggest student motorsport competition.

The product was created for the IMechE Formula student event which challenges entrants to design and manufacture a single-seat race car that is tested at Silverstone race track. The aim is to create a high performance car in terms of acceleration, handling and braking, while also being reliable, easy to maintain and low in cost.

Dave Bennion, Marketing and Sales Director at Ogle, said: “We were pleased to be approached by the team at University College London this year as we have successfully worked with them on several occasions and have found them to be very professional, we hope to work with the students when they are out in the workplace. The competition is extremely prestigious and is backed by industry professionals. The aim is to help innovative engineers showcase their technical, engineering design and manufacturing skills and we were proud to be a part of finding the next generation of racing car designers. A lot is riding on the event for the participants, which is why it was so important we delivered the commissioned parts to a high spec, using the exact measurements.”

Ogle used selective laser sintering (SLS), which is a form of industrial 3D printing technology to create the pieces needed for the single-seat race car. Glass filled nylon (PA3200) was chosen to add the extra strength and the temperature resistance required. Using SLS is ideal because creating intricate and complex geometry of air intakes can be difficult to manufacture quickly using other methods.

Tim Baker from the University College London team said: “We approached Ogle because we know they are one of the leading prototyping companies with an excellent reputation for high quality work. Using 3D printing in motorsport is hugely beneficial because it can produce lightweight parts from complex and bespoke designs in short time frames. Our design required parts that had complex geometries and it was essential they fitted exactly. It was a dream come true to see our design, which we’ve worked so hard, come to life.”

This year the competition saw more than 130 university teams from 30 different countries take part.

A spokesman for the event said: “Our mission is to excite and encourage young people to take up a career in engineering. It seeks to challenge university students to conceive, design, build, cost, present and compete as a team with a small single-seat racing car in a series of static and dynamic competitions.”

This year, standards were very high and each entrant’s vehicle had to pass rigorous scrutinising tests to ensure it complied with the strict safety regulations.

Formula Student (FS) is Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Matt White, who joined Ogle as Prototype Solutions Engineer earlier in the year has a Motorsports Degree from Coventry University and played a key role in Coventry’s Formula Student team.


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