Uniformity Labs’ AlSi10Mg powder used to additively manufacture race car roll-cage

Uniformity Labs has additively manufactured a roll-cage for a solar powered race car using its AlSi10Mg aluminium alloy powder on an in-house SLM 280 2.0 Dual Laser system.

The 3D printed roll-cage will be used on a car that is competing in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, an international event where solar-powered cars drive 3,000 kilometres through the Australian outback.

Harnessing the AlSi10Mg materials and SLM 280 platform, the roll cage was printed with a 30um layer thickness and ‘fantastic surface finish’ but delivered the ‘productivity level equal to that of a 60um layer thickness print’, per Uniformity Labs. It was designed by the car engineering team, with topological optimisation techniques helping to reduce materials usage, and therefore weight, while maintaining the strength of the structure. This allowed the team to replace the previous carbon fibre component with the metal 3D printed part.

Uniformity Labs has used the AlSi10Mg powder on a range of applications in a variety of industries, all with ‘great success’, but believes this latest application proves the material’s capabilities in supporting sustainable mobility and producing robust, lightweight components.  

“This is an excellent example of how our innovation can significantly improve part design using our advanced powders and modern AM techniques,” commented Uniformity Labs founder and CEO Adam Hopkins. “Our ultra-low porosity AlSi10Mg and print processes allowed the car development team to create a better part quickly, cheaply and optimised for the necessary weight and safety parameters. It’s easy to see how the processes used and benefits afforded to the roll-cage production can apply to the creation of complex parts for use in mainstream industries such as aviation, auto, and consumer electronics. That’s what our technology is all about.”

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