With the Formula 1 race event in Austin, Texas in full swing and drivers preparing for the actual races to begin this weekend, we were hoping for some exciting 3D printing-related news. This morning, it was the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team that delivered by announcing it was extending its partnership with Dutch 3D printing company Additive Industries.
The two parties had previously entered into a three-year technology partnership, which sought to leverage Additive Industries’ metal 3D printing technology. As of today, the partnership has been extended to five years.
Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team also recently acquired its third MetalFAB1 system from Additive Systems within the past year and extended its second system with the addition of an extra build chamber to increase productivity.
The MetalFAB1 system offered by Additive Industries is based on powder bed fusion technology. The system integrates multiple lasers as well as a built-in heat treatment system, automated build plate handling and storage. As evidenced by Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team’s expansion of its second machine, the MetalFAB1 is also modular, enabling users to increase productivity or print with multi-material with the addition of more modules.
“We are pleased to be extending our current partnership with Additive Industries, and to introduce a third MetalFAB1 3D printing system to our facilities,” commented Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG. “Not only do we aim to develop our production of parts for Formula One further, but we are also expanding our competences and activity in our third party businesses. Building on the successful collaboration we have had so far, we look forward to working with Additive Industries and making further progress in our shared projects.”
Daan Kersten, CEO of Additive Industries, added: “For Additive Industries, this partnership extension with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team confirms the acceleration in industrial additive manufacturing that we are aiming for. Repeat sales in such a short time are the best compliment for our team, both for the system design and 3D metal printing process but also for our customer support team which works closely with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team to reach the highest productivity in the market today. We are both proud and grateful for such a partnership.”
In addition to the MetalFAB1 technology it utilizes, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team also operates a range of other 3D printing technologies. For instance, in June of this year, the racing team announced it had added five large-format ProX 800 SLA 3D printers from 3D Systems to its fleet. Prior to that, the company already operated a range of 3D Systems SLS and SLA solutions. The Swiss Formula 1 team began exploring 3D printing over 10 years ago, when it founded its Additive Manufacturing department and integrates its first 3D Systems’ machines.
Now, the company is still reaping the benefits of the technology and continues to expand its production capacity regularly. In terms of metal 3D printing, the racing team explained that it uses the technology to support the low-volume production of complex parts. More specifically, it has leveraged the technology’s ability to create more complex, lightweight and efficient parts.