Nerd’s Eye View: SEMA 2014 Part II


This is a universal application with their unique thermostat design with no elements impeding the primary oil flow which should minimize the work required from the oil pump. It should also ensure maximum oil pressure at the engine.
Of course, Improved Racing is probably best known for their baffled oil pans for LS engines. If you track a car with a LS, invest in the Improved Racing oil pan as it could save your engine.
3D printing is getting to be commonplace; this particular machine is a FORTUS 360mc. It’s great for creating rapid prototypes including functional pieces such as the brake ducts and NACA duct we featured on Project S2000. Here you can see the printer head doing its thing laying down a bead of plastic building up the piece a layer at a time.
You can print out all sorts of stuff. The orange intake manifold is printed from this high temperature stuff called ULTEM 1010. In the middle is a mold printed to be used for laying up carbon fiber pieces. Even more creative is the carbon fiber tube on the right. In 3D printing, there’s the base plastic material and a support material made of stuff that dissolves away in a heated liquid solution. The support material is required to, well, support the base material as it’s printed out. Typically, you print out a part and dump the whole thing in a solvent tank to dissolve the support material required in the printing of the 3D part. The white tube you see in the picture is 100% support material. The carbon fiber was then layered on the tube to create the carbon fiber tube. Then the whole thing was dunked in the solvent tank to dissolve the support material. Voila! Complex shape carbon fiber tube.
A new machine I was unfamiliar with is this BJET 260 which prints out flexible polymers. The UV light cures the material as it is printed. It’s really cool as you can see it is capable of doing multiple colors at once and the materials come in different levels of durometer.
Have I mentioned how commonly used 3D printing is these days? StopTech had this rapid prototype of their new racing caliper design on display. This new caliper is a bit lighter and a bit stiffer than the leading competitor and has some pretty cool features which I’m not going to show… You’ll just have to wait until it’s officially released.

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