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Papadakis Racing shows off massive inconel 3D printed turbo manifold

Produced by experts at MIMO Technik

Larger parts seem to be the trend for metal 3D printing lately. Maybe not yet mass produced large parts but certainly some big one-offs for custom luxury and racing cars. Leveraging the expertise and AM capabilities at AM and engineering services provider MIMO Technick, the Papadakis Racing team built an impressively large 3D printed turbo manifold for it latest racing vehicle.

The video shows off the entire process, from engine 3D scanning to part design, all the way to 3D printing, finishing and assembling the manifold’s components. The printing was carried out by MIMO Technik, a California metal AM and engineering services provider that operates in the AM space for aerospace, rocketry, defense and motorsport clients.

Perhaps even more interesting for the readers of this website is that MIMO Technik is not just supporting highly advanced, one-off motorsport projects but also producing some serious series of serial advanced automotive components for clients leveraging an impressive array of metal 3D printers.

3D printed turbo manifold
991 Porsche Turbo Intercooler endtanks. Designed and optimized without the limitations of traditional manufacturing for 3D printing in exclusive series production by MIMO Technick

The company invests significantly in the latest technology, software, processes, and parameter development. The AM-Center, PRINT METAL, in southern California is capable of offering series production by leveraging 5 SLM Solutions systems including two SLM 500 Quad-laser and three SLM 280 Twin-laser systems. The equally impressive roster of supported materials includes aluminum (AlSi10 Mg, Scalmalloy, AlSi7 Mg, AL-MMC), nickel (Ni-625, Ni-718, H-282, HX), cobalt chromium (M-M509, L-605/H-25) and stainless steel SS316, SS310, SS17-4, SS15-5) and titanium (TiAl6V4).

Another client of MIMO Technik is BBI Autosport, a company founded in 2005 with the mission of returning artistry and craft to the Exotic Tuning Market. Driven by pure passion, and on a motorsport foundation, BBI has become a household name in the Porsche Industry. With 30+ years of combined professional racing history fueling the engineering and development of performance parts and services, BBI Founders have participated in several Professional Racing Series including the Rolex Grand American Racing, American Lemans, 24 Hours Lemans (4 Races), 24hrs of Daytona (9 Races) and 12hrs of Sebring (8 Races).


3D printed turbo manifold
Another 3D printed manifold produced by MIMO Technik to fit a Porsche engine for sportscar tuning experts at BBI Autosport.

For those who didn’t know (including the author of this article), the Papadakis Racing team is the most winning team in Formula Drift history, earning the 2015 title with driver Fredric Aasbo, as well as back­to­ back championship titles with driver Tanner Foust in 2007 and 2008. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback is the latest competition build from the Hawthorne, California, based team.

Team owner Stephan Papadakis is a legend of sport­ compact racing who began building his reputation in the 1990s with the first front-wheel ­drive, tube­-chassis drag car in the US. The team earned multiple records and championships in the discipline, turning in elapsed times and trap speeds previously thought unattainable in front­-drive drag cars. Papadakis’ successes in front­-wheel drive were matched by his efforts in rear­-wheel drive when he campaigned a Honda Civic that became just the fifth car to join the NHRA’s Sport Compact 200 MPH club

Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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  1. What’s the point of printing that? I don’t see any real shape improvement and it’s multi pieces built, so need a complex welding.

    1. I was actually kinda wondering that also, that’s why ultimately the article focused on MIMO’s production capabilities with AM. I thought there could be a few possible reasons. While there certainly is the attention-grabbing effect to factor in, I’m guessing that it would be actually cheaper to print a one-off part than to produce it by other methods. Another maybe that Inconel is more difficult (and wasteful) to die-cast or CNC? Another yet perhaps is that, while some assembly was still necessary, perhaps there were fewer parts to be welded post-print?

      1. I think that your points are right but let’s say if standard inconel processing / welding is 100% as difficult, made in this way with 3D metal printing is 80% difficult, while cost is the same (or even higher). Thank you for your answer David!

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