3D Systems & Alpine F1 Team Advance Wind Tunnel Productivity with Co-Developed Material

June 9, 2021 8:30 AM EDT

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  • New Accura® Composite PIV material enables more efficient part production, more accurate and higher resolution Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) testing data
  • New material alongside 3D Systems’ technology and application expertise enabling Alpine F1 Team to continue to advance aerodynamic track performance

ROCK HILL, S.C., June 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) today announced the availability of Accura® Composite PIV – a new material specifically designed to address PIV testing applications used primarily in motorsports wind tunnel testing. Developed in collaboration with Alpine F1 Team (formerly Renault F1 Team), Accura Composite PIV is capable of producing rigid parts in a high-contrast color optimized for PIV testing. Parts produced using this material take significantly less time to prepare – from CAD to wind tunnel – and deliver more accurate, high-resolution data. When used as part of a complete 3D Systems additive manufacturing solution – comprising Accura Composite PIV, the company’s stereolithography (SLA) technology, software, and advanced application services – Alpine F1 Team has been able to maximize its wind tunnel investment and improve its understanding of the airflow over the car.

3D printing wind tunnel parts for aerodynamic testing is virtually a 24/7 operation as the racing team constantly works to unlock new levels of performance in the car. In particular, 3D Systems’ SLA technology has allowed Formula 1 companies to build rigid aerodynamic parts with high productivity and leverage innovations like integrated pressure tappings. These parts are used in testing that relies on a laser-based technology known as ‘particle image velocimetry’ or PIV. One challenge with taking reliable PIV measurements is the reflections of laser light from background surfaces other than the airborne particles, which reduces the image quality resulting in a loss of useful information. 3D Systems developed Accura Composite PIV - a new reflection mitigating SLA material - which Alpine F1 Team is using to print its wind tunnel model parts. Alpine F1 Team has demonstrated that the new SLA material is effective in reducing the laser reflection effect. The use of this system is helping their aerodynamicists gain a greater insight into the aerodynamic characteristics of the wind tunnel model, ultimately helping them deliver a faster racing car to the track.

The workflow to produce wind tunnel parts in other currently available materials often requires a multi-step process to achieve a suitable finish required for wind tunnel testing. The unique color of Accura Composite PIV provides the possibility to eliminate some of these steps and therefore compress the workflow for efficiency and throughput gains.

“We’ve proudly collaborated with 3D Systems for many years,” said Pat Warner, advanced digital manufacturing manager, Alpine F1 Team. “The deep expertise of their application engineers and their industry-leading solutions have been an invaluable part of our innovation team. It’s been exciting to co-develop Accura Composite PIV and see the benefits it’s bringing to our process. We produce nearly 500 parts per week for wind tunnel testing. Due to the material’s unique optical characteristics, we are now collecting more reliable data from our PIV system in the wind tunnel.”

In addition to Accura Composite PIV’s unique color, the material has a high tensile and flex modulus, with a heat deflection temperature of 100° C, which makes it ideal to withstand the rigors of wind tunnel testing. This material is formulated for use with 3D Systems’ stereolithography 3D printing technology – including the company’s 3D Sprint® software - that is designed for rapid production of large (up to 1500mm in length), high-resolution parts. At the core of 3D Systems’ solutions is the expertise of its Application Innovation Group that is relied upon for engineering expertise to help F1 teams such as Alpine F1 Team refine their vehicle designs for faster time to – and on – the track.

“Customer-centric innovation is a guiding force within 3D Systems,” said Kevin Baughey, segment leader, transportation & motorsports, 3D Systems. “Working with Alpine F1 Team to develop our newest material is another example of how we’re leveraging our F1 application expertise to develop advanced solutions that give our customers a competitive edge. We’ve been impressed by the results the Team has experienced in the wind tunnel, and look forward to seeing their success on the circuit this season.”

For more information on 3D Systems’ application-specific solutions for motorsports, please visit the company’s website.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this release that are not statements of historical or current facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company to be materially different from historical results or from any future results or projections expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In many cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terms such as "believes," "belief," "expects," "may," "will," "estimates," "intends," "anticipates" or "plans" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are based upon management’s beliefs, assumptions, and current expectations and may include comments as to the company’s beliefs and expectations as to future events and trends affecting its business and are necessarily subject to uncertainties, many of which are outside the control of the company. The factors described under the headings "Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors" in the company’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as other factors, could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected or predicted in forward-looking statements. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not, and should not be relied upon as a guarantee of future performance or results, nor will they necessarily prove to be accurate indications of the times at which such performance or results will be achieved. The forward-looking statements included are made only as of the date of the statement. 3D Systems undertakes no obligation to update or review any forward-looking statements made by management or on its behalf, whether as a result of future developments, subsequent events or circumstances or otherwise.

About 3D Systems
More than 30 years ago, 3D Systems brought the innovation of 3D printing to the manufacturing industry. Today, as the leading additive manufacturing solutions partner, we bring innovation, performance, and reliability to every interaction - empowering our customers to create products and business models never before possible. Thanks to our unique offering of hardware, software, materials, and services, each application-specific solution is powered by the expertise of our application engineers who collaborate with customers to transform how they deliver their products and services. 3D Systems’ solutions address a variety of advanced applications in healthcare and industrial markets such as medical and dental, aerospace & defense, automotive, and durable goods. More information on the company is available at www.3dsystems.com.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/06ec3187-0650-4aee-afab-28efe67f8929.




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