Case Study #001: Intercooler Driver Cooling System

Race Car Driver Air Conditioning System Components

 

When it comes to racing, there’s really only one rule that matters – be the fastest car on the track. How racing teams make that happen varies, but some things remain constant: for optimum performance, the vehicle weight must be kept to a minimum. Enter Kustom Komponents, precision manufacturers with a singular goal:  “to provide the lightest, most compact, lowest power draw, and most efficient racing products in the market”.

Dedicated to improving the products surrounding drivers’ comfort and breathing safety, Kustom Komponents mission to revolutionize the air conditioning systems began in 2004, when drivers decided that the best system (at the time) simply wasn’t good enough. Too heavy and too big, the standard model for on-board air conditioners had to change. Working with racing teams, Kustom Komponents developed the Intercooler: smaller, lighter, and able to withstand the harsh environment of automotive racing – all made possible by the advantages of additive manufacturing.

Today, the Intercooler system and its printed components can be found everywhere from independent professionals to industry-leading teams, including 8 of the last 9 NASCAR championship winners. As designs and demand change over time, Midwest Prototyping continues to work with Kustom Komponents to provide high-quality, innovative products dedicated to maximizing the ever-expanding benefits of additive manufacturing.    

 

Complexity is No Concern

The Intercooler driver cooling system requires numerous complex components working together at all times. Selective laser sintering breaks the rules of traditional manufacturing – complexity in design is easily achievable, with incredible efficiency in production. In this particular case, these Intercooler components have four separate pieces with the intricate geometries required for proper air-flow and system integration, while maintaining maximum design efficiency. Such efficiency has led to a product nearly 9 pounds lighter than the competition.

 

 

Rugged Durability

Race teams depend on excellence in performance with every lap. High temperatures, repeated impacts and sustained gravitational forces can quickly create an inhospitable environment on board a race car.  Components constructed with selective laser sintering can withstand a wide-variety of environmental extremes, reliably retaining their intended form and function in the harshest of conditions.

 

 

 

 

High Quality and Specific Quantity

Such complex solutions aren’t produced at wholesale levels – they’re sold at low volume, to customers looking for sensible solutions. In this case, additive manufacturing allows for design revisions mid-production to Intercooler components without the need for costly retooling. At client-specific levels of demand, this provides advantages both on and off the racetrack. 

 

 

Quick Specs

Process

Selective Laser Sintering

Number of pieces per unit

4 (printed simultaneously) 

Material

Polyamide (PA)

Total Weight per unit

155.6 g / 0.342 lb

Intended End Use

Production Grade Components

Dimensions (X,Y,Z)

4.72" x 5.63" x 3.14" 

11.9 cm x 14.3 cm x 7.9 cm