McLaren Tests 3D-Printing on-the-go at Bahrain GP

By Gary Cutlack on at

McLaren says, and it's not known for lying, that it's going to 3D-print some parts of its race cars in the paddock at the Bahrain GP, as the speedy manufacturing process means it's able to make last-minute switches to specs to suit race day conditions.

The manufacturer says it'll have a Stratasys printer as part of it setup at Bahrain and, posh 3D toner permitting, it'll be used to make changes to parts of its cars. Which seems a bit desperate if it's literally still building cars during the race weekend, but there you go.

McLaren's positive this isn't just a marketing stunt it's doing in return for a few free printers either, with the company's technology boss Jonathan Neale saying: "It's way more serious than a hype thing. If you look at the digitisation of Formula One over the last 10 years and everything that's happened through simulation, the advance of rapid prototyping technologies, it's real performance for us, because Formula One is nothing if not in the business of time."

They're not saying exactly what they'll be printing out, though, with the 3D printer most likely to be used to help the team's aerodynamic engineers make small tweaks to the exterior shell and wings. [BBC]

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