CUPRA printing parts for its race cars

March 27, 2020

A team of innovative engineers is transforming the way vehicles are developed by printing car parts.

CUPRA is using state-of-the-art multi-jet fusion technology to fashion parts in a fast and efficient way.

For its new Leon Competición racing car, engineers at CUPRA have 3D printed the model’s door mirrors, air intakes and cooling intakes.

The technique enables the manufacturer to reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption while also increasing stability, speed and safety – vital in both motorsport and road car applications.

The process of printing a mirror can take around 20 hours, but CUPRA can print six at a time, giving the team the ability to create different designs simultaneously. This means CUPRA can quickly test the varying prototypes in a wind tunnel to find out which is best for aerodynamics.

When taken to this controlled environment, the printed parts are fitted to the car and face winds of more than 180mph while sensors study the impact on individual surfaces. The car’s resistance data is displayed on screen where engineers and designers compare the results for the different printed parts.

As the smallest margins can make the difference in motorsport, it is crucial the 3D printed parts play their part in reducing fuel consumption while also increasing stability, speed and safety.

Xavi Serra, head of technical development at CUPRA Racing, said: “For the new CUPRA Leon Competición we modelled the steering wheel’s centre control module, the bonnet air vents, door mirrors and the brake and water-cooling inlets.

“The main goal is to have a lot of parts in a short time. We can quickly test a wide variety of designs and furthermore, this technology enables us to react swiftly to any changes in the design process.

“The bigger the variety of parts we can test in this facility, the better. It enables us to make much faster progress. The results were excellent, and some were even surprising, because we were looking to push the material to its limits.

“This technology is and will continue to be key in countless fields to make the most complex ideas a reality.”

The final development of the 3D printed parts was on a racing circuit, with CUPRA testing the Leon Competición on the Portimao track in Portugal.

So far, CUPRA has been printing parts for its Leon Competición – its 180mph 335bhp, 2.0-litre touring car inspired by the new Seat Leon family hatchback – and the e-Racer, an electric touring car which does 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds.

CUPRA has released footage of the printing and test processes of the project, which is in partnership with HP.

Virginia Palacios, head of Systems Product Management, 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing, HP Inc, said: “The work with CUPRA demonstrates the power of 3D printing and digital manufacturing – changing the way the world designs and manufactures.

“3D printing is going to signal a turning point in the automotive industry by accelerating lead times and HP 3D technology is helping designers create parts that could not be produced with other technologies.”

Latest News

How to keep your car free from germs

With domestic hygiene high on the agenda right now, it’s important to remember
[...]

Mazda’s popular CX-5 gets an upgrade

The multi-award-winning Mazda CX-5 range has been updated with the launch of the
[...]

CUPRA printing parts for its race cars

A team of innovative engineers is transforming the way vehicles are developed by
[...]

MG donates 100 cars to NHS agencies

MG Motor UK has announced that it is supplying up to 100 fully-electric
[...]

Vehicles loaned to charity during crisis

Dealer group West Way has loaned two Nissan Navara pick-ups to Team Rubicon
[...]

Limited Edition Civic Type R sells out

Honda UK has today announced that its entire allocation of Civic Type R
[...]

A sneak look at SEAT’s all-new Leon

The SEAT Leon has hit the road in the mountains around Barcelona ahead
[...]

Fresh upgrades for the Lexus UX SUV

The Lexus UX compact SUV is getting an upgrade with a number of
[...]

Mercedes reveals GLA trims and costs

The Mercedes-Benz GLA is on now on sale, with prices starting from £32,640
[...]

Honda Jazzes things up for the future

Honda has released pricing details for the all-new e:HEV hybrid powered Jazz and
[...]

Prepare for Toyota’s hot hatch Yaris

A hot version of the Toyota Yaris will be arriving later this year
[...]

Latest Defender does all its own stunts

Land Rover’s television commercial for the new Defender demonstrates its capability on tough
[...]

First images of the new Kia Sorento

Kia Motors has revealed the first official images of the All-New Kia Sorento,
[...]

Pick-up appeal picks up the pace

Nissan has launched the latest Nissan Navara N-Guard, with the range-topping, double cab
[...]

Get ready for a quality Polo Match

The appeal of the Volkswagen Polo has been enhanced with the addition of
[...]

Dacia introduces new dual-fuel system

Dacia is launching a new factory-fitted dual-fuel solution across its range of award-winning
[...]