WASP, the first and leading Italian manufacturer of advanced Delta 3D printers, has been pushing the additive manufacturing industry in new directions since it was founded by Massimo Moretti in 2012. The company’s latest evolutions are now heading towards leveraging the consolidated and highly reliable kinematics of its delta systems to address industrial-level end-use part production. With the introduction of the new Delta WASP INDUSTRIAL 4.0 line, the company supports the use of production-grade materials – such as Nylon Carbon – for a growing range of products. One such application highlights the versatility and accessibility of the Delta WASP 2040 INDUSTRIAL 4.0 for a racing team – competing in the Campionato Italiano Velocità (Italian Speed Championship) – to bring, for the first time, a 3D printer inside the box, producing real racing parts.
“There is no doubt in my mind that having this technology inside the paddock represents a paradigm shift in the world of racing,” explained Flavio Gioia, the R&D Manager at WASP. “You could theoretically replace the many parts that teams have to carry around with just a few spools of technical materials and a 3D printer.” This approach is similar to that outlined by NASA for the future of long-distance space travel, however, its benefits are just as clear in a fast-moving segment such as motorcycle racing: drastically reducing the time and cost for transporting spare parts can be a game-changer. “All you need to do is take the filament with you and shape it up as you need it.”
To respond to challenging requests as well as process reliability and parts repeatability: the new Delta WASP 2040 INDUSTRIAL 4.0 proved to be the ideal solution. This model is the natural evolution of WASP’s original Delta WASP 2040. It leverages the same general kinematics with the same cylindrical printing volume (20 cm diameter by 40 cm height) and its industry-recognized reliability. The new line INDUSTRIAL 4.0 improves on the UI and UX, with a new capacitive touchscreen, a remote-control system, and a live camera. Most of all, it introduces a new “Hot and Cold technology” with a new heated chamber, controlled up to 80°, and active cooling of the mechanics.
WASP’s “Hot and Cold technology” allows the control of room temperature up to 80°C and cools down the mechanics making the print of technical materials easier. This technology facilitates the use of technical materials such as nylon-carbon composites. Further improvements such as the aluminum heated plate and WASP’s auto-calibration system ensure even higher reliability during the print, as does the sensor on the chamber’s door, which ensures that heat is kept inside. WASP and Toccio Racing have chosen the Nylon Carbon for its strength and lightweight properties, which makes it an ideal material even for extreme conditions, such as high-speed racing at 300 Km/h.
“The growing use of composite materials is very relevant and shows how 3D printing is shifting from a tool for visual prototyping to functional prototyping and even direct production when needed,” Flavio Gioia explains. “This is a key underlying trend for all 3D printing. Nylon CFR composites, in particular, are in very high demand due to the material’s excellent properties, especially for end-use parts such as those produced by a bike or automotive team.
“One of the most significant new developments is that we are making things easier to do than they used to be,” Gioia explains. “From our point of view as 3D print solutions providers, we continue to work toward this goal, without forgetting that a big impact comes from material research and the use of higher performance polymers and composites.” Gioia goes on to highlight how recent government incentives allowed some companies more freedom in exploring new technologies. “We always strive to find solutions to the many and very different requirements that our clients present to us. All this keeping in mind that several of them are now mature adopters of 3D printing, and they know what they want.
The ability to print directly on-location, on-demand and, literally, on the go, parts that can be used during the race, such as the brake’s air conveyor, gives clients more freedom with these ad-hoc components, the bike’s configuration can be customized based upon track-specific requirements. The team can also use 3D printers to replace parts that are damaged in a fall, which results in significant economic benefits as well.
“In the DNA of WASP, there is the continuous research and improvement of the machines. I think that this attitude derives directly from a genuine curiosity and from the passionate investigation of discovery. Printing in the paddock at 300 per hour is just one of many daily challenges”, Gioia says with a smile.
This article was produced and published in collaboration with WASP