3D Printing an Oil Cooler Duct With BD Engineering

With a huge heatwave hitting California, we found when doing a track day at Willow Springs raceway in over 100-degree heat that our car was starting to run a little hot about halfway through a session.  Not terribly but it was enough to have to slow down for a few laps.  Now we were were running gasoline and our high boost map, this could be solved or improved to reduce temperatures by running our low boost map and E85 for fuel.  However more cooling never hurt anyone.  With that, we decided that improving airflow to our engine oil cooler would help quite a bit.  We once again enlisted the help of our friends at BD Engineering to make us a super cool duct to force-feed air our Greddy oil cooler air from the front of the car.  You might recall that BD previously helped us develop the rear big brake kit for our car.  If you need engineering help designing super cool parts for your car, give them a call, the results are amazing and not as expensive as what you might expect.

The first thing BD did was to spray our front bumper and facia with AESUB Scanning spray.  This removes light reflections and helps the scanner pick up details more easily.

What is cool with this spray is it totally disappears in a few hours so you have no cleanup after.  In this shot you can see the tiny hole in the bumper and the small slot in the headlight cover that fed air to the oil cooler originally, we are going to fix that!

Here Nikita Rushmanov uses an Artech Leo scanner to get digital surface data from the front bumper.


  1. The trouble with the Aesub spray is it is pretty pricey at $40 a can. Back when I last did a scanning project a couple years ago it was closer to $60. I ended up using Magnaflux SDK-S2 developer which was a little better at a little under $30 a can, but still expensive. It doesn’t evaporate on its own, but leaves behind a chalky residue that is easy to clean up.

    That said, it seems the real budget option is to go for talc, corn starch or baby powder mixed with rubbing alcohol. I haven’t had a chance to try this myself, but plan to use it at the next opportunity.

    1. The disappearing feature is pretty good for me and worth the price to me especially when doing stuff like suspension, brakes and inside of the the core support, the cleanup would take a long time.

  2. That’s really cool, what a great use of 3D scanning and printing. I’m really glad you guys showed how much work goes into finishing a printed part to an OEM level finish. The finished part turned out great!

  3. > This is really cool and we will probably have to run the stock cover for winter driving to avoid overcooling the oil!

    Is there reason not to run an oil thermostat sandwich to the cooler to avoid overcooling?

    Great article!

    1. I don’t like them as they can restrict flow, however, the Greddy cooler uses one. I am not sure what temperature it opens at.

    2. On Project S2000, I had to cover up some of the front bumper airflow opening in winter taking the highway to the track to reduce airflow to the oil cooler. Even though I had a Mocal thermostatic sandwich plate, it still always flows some oil. If the oil in the oil cooler were completely cut off, then it would be very cold when the thermostat opened up and could thermally shock hot components it comes in touch with.

  4. What polymer was the component printed from? Fantastic work on getting the fitment and then surface finish so good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *