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Taking the 3D Printer from the workshop to the desert

30 June 2021

With off-road legend Nani Roma the Bahrain Raid Xtreme Team (BRX) finished 5th in this year's Dakar Rally with – also supported by the mobile use of 3D printing. The BRX team, led by the company Prodrive, produced more than 30 car parts for the Hunter T1 race car from nylon carbon fiber. To do so, the team had a Makerkbot 3D printer installed in its service truck.

Image: BRX Hunter
Image: BRX Hunter

This year Dakar Rally took place over two weeks, with stages covering hundreds of miles across Saudi Arabia. With two Method X 3D printers, the BRX team was able to engineer some parts at the factory in the UK as well as on site at the Rally. “We printed remotely in the middle of nowhere; literally where you can’t see traces of civilization, reported Paul Doe, chief engineer at Prodrive

The BRX team 3D-printed over 30 parts on the Hunter T1, including a mount for a suspension position sensor and a sculpted nozzle mount for the cockpit’s fire suppression system. “There are quite a bit of parts in the car, such as the engine bays and wheel side near the brakes, where the environments reach up to 120°C and where traditional FDM materials start to struggle, forcing us to revert to aluminum which is costly. In this case, we were able to print parts in nylon carbon fiber which is able to reach very high temperatures”, said Doe.

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  • Automotive
  • Additive manufacturing