In Austria, OSU’s combustion-engine car ultimately finished 12th overall. One week later, OSU’s team took second overall in Germany among 60 cars.
Since 2009, Oregon State has finished in first place 16 times on the Formula Student circuit — earning two world No. 1 rankings — all while partnering with students from a German college, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg-Ravensburg. Together, the two schools operate as Global Formula Racing or GFR. HP has long sponsored the team and, this year, GFR began using HP 3D-printed parts.
“The magic of Formula Student is when I see a car driving and competing and winning, I personally know the people who designed and manufactured and assembled these vehicles,” says Rust, 24, an OSU grad student who oversees mechanical design and U.S. management for GFR.
“I know the amount of blood, sweat and tears, all of the hours, late nights, lack of sleep and sleeping in the shop to get that car where it is,” Rust says. “Yes, we do want to win, but what's most important is that we're not just creating a race car, we're creating incredible engineers.”
Starting this season, GFR designed and constructed three cars — one electric, one combustion powered, and a new driverless car. Near campus in Corvallis, Oregon, Rust and his teammates chose to use HP 3D printers to create many of the more intricate parts for their combustion car.
Those parts include inserts used to mount the car’s wings to its chassis. The team also printed the intake runner, where air and fuel get mixed before being injected into the engine.
With 3D printing, GFR can devise and manufacture key parts in uncommon geometric shapes, enabling them to fit into tight spaces while meeting Formula Student guidelines, Rust says.
This process is fueling the young engineers’ creativity, unshackling them from old, automotive conventions, like only using car parts available in the retail market or waiting weeks or months for specialty parts to be made by traditional machines.
The team simply emails its designs to John Greeven, a 3D printing lead architect for HP who’s based in Corvallis. Greeven then takes the blueprints to a local HP laboratory used for 3D printing. He uploads the requested part into the right machine with the right material and it is made — often in days.