May 8, 2023 | Case History, News Prosilas, Pa603cf Carbon fiber
Ktm + Prosilas Case History
Passion for speed meets 3D printing innovation
Since the beginnings of 3D printing, one of the sectors that has most perceived and grasped its potential is undoubtedly racing and motorsport. The demand for parts and components with high mechanical performance, but in limited production runs and tight deadlines, make additive manufacturing the ideal choice for those who produce high performance cars and motorbikes.
This is well known by the Austrian company KTM, whose Aerodynamics and Factory Racing departments have persistently researched and developed revolutionary solutions, not only for the production of functional prototypes, but also for end-use components, to be used both in the wind tunnel and on the track.
A partner for 3D printing of carbon-filled nylon elements
It was precisely with a view to creating parts capable of exceptional performance, not only mechanical but also aerodynamic, that the collaboration between KTM and Prosilas was born. In particular, Prosilas’ role is to work alongside the Austrian giant as a partner for the 3D printing and finishing of parts in Polyamide PA2200 added with carbon fibre using SLS technology. A true additive manufacturing process in Nylon with carbon that, thanks to the printing parameters specifically studied by Prosilas technicians for the EOS P770 printer, has also been proposed for large format parts (680x370x540 mm chamber). Prosilas is the only company on the European scene that can offer this kind of 3D printing for objects and components of this size in PA 603 CF material.
Aerodynamic appendix for the motorbike KTM RC16 MotoGP
Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM, MotoGP RC16 Circuit Ricardo Tormo
From simulations to the wind tunnel: what were KTM’s objectives when you chose Prosilas as your partner?
“The desire was to identify and develop additive-moulded materials that could undergo post-processing to bring the surface finish up to the levels required for our aerodynamic needs,” says Daniel Marshall Team Leader Aerodynamics at KTM: “In particular, we needed to improve the correlation between simulations and subsequent testing, and then possibly produce parts that could cope with track tests and even race events. Thanks to the qualities of PA 603 CF and the surface finishes offered by Prosilas, we can now have parts that fully meet our requirements. We have been able to decisively improve the correlation between computational simulation and wind tunnel testing“.
From right to left: Vanna Menco, CEO Prosilas; Noemi Rossi, Sales Manager Prosilas; Daniel Marshall Team Leader Aerodinamics KTM; Michele Paolinelli Sales Account Prosilas @ KTM Factory Racing
Brad Binder & Jack Miller, motorbike RC16 Red Bull KTM. MotoGP 2023
Constant comparison in the name of optimisation
Highly innovative results, therefore, achieved through an ongoing collaboration between KTM and Prosilas to combine aerodynamic and engineering expertise with that of additive manufacturing: “The choice of materials and surface and post-processing finishes was made in constant collaboration with Prosilas,” explains Daniel Marshall. “Thanks to this partnership, further progress was made in optimising the components in terms of weight, rigidity and waste reduction“
What made KTM choose 3D printing over the traditional methods previously used?
“We decided to go for 3D printing for two very specific reasons: short lead times and minimal quantities,” concludes Daniel Marshall: “We usually produce test parts in one-offs, so traditional production processes are not applicable in terms of both cost and delivery time.
Additive technology allows finished parts in production timescales that are unthinkable for any other technology. For example, eight aerodynamic appendages for the tail of the KTM RC16 MotoGP motorbike were printed and finished within just four days of the order being placed. An astonishing result, which only reaffirms the now inseparable link between racing and motorsport and 3D printing.
A story, the one between Prosilas and the historic KTM, that once again confirms Prosilas’ commitment to being a winning ally to industrial production.
Appendice aerodinamica per la moto KTM RC16 MotoGP
Jan 12, 2023 | News Prosilas, Pa603cf Carbon fiber
Twenty years of Know-how
Winning quality choices
The 20th anniversary of Prosilas will be celebrated in 2023. In these twenty years we have gained a deep experience in the field of additive manufacturing, supporting companies both in the prototyping phase and in rapid production, operating mainly with SLS technologies, supported by different systems and design and finishing techniques, and with pure materials such as polyamides, or loaded.
We deepen the development of Prosilas, as Manufacturnig Service and Consulting, with some ideas on the most functional materials together with our Technical Director Luca Ferroni.
PA 603 CF – Polyamide & Carbon Fiber : lightness and solidity to overcome the challenge of high performance productions
At the beginning we based our production by processing materials such as PA2200 (pure polyamide) and glass and aluminium filled with standard mixture, and then we refined our proposal through the creation of real special blends..
About ten years ago we had the intuition to use Polyamide PA2200 loaded with carbon fiber, a highly robust and durable solution, which opened unthinkable opportunities to the most complex sectors, such as racing and motorsport, where the demand for mechanical performance is high and, here is the case to say, in rapid travel. The proposal of carbon-loaded polyamide therefore translated into a functional and not only aesthetic solution, competitive and able to meet the need for high-performance product sectors.
Customizing the processes
The PA12 material with carbon had a standard mixture, but we started to work with customized processes to improve its resistance in the Z axis, thanks to the experience gained that has allowed Prosilas to make changes to the process making this material even more performing and suitable in many areas.
PA 603 CF
the new carbon loaded material
With the introduction of the new material for rapid production (or prototyping in some cases), PA 603 CF (Carbon Fiber) we can say that we have made a further qualitative leap by evolving and obtaining even higher performance solutions for the industry that chooses to rely on the support of our technical laboratories. The material processed at the Prosilas hub has in fact a greater resistance on the Z axis, more robust, lighter and with a better surface quality, characteristics that guarantee the perfect combination of aesthetics and functionality.
This allows us to create extremely high-performance parts in terms of mechanics but at the same time light and thin, with high rigidity.
“I can personally say that the material PA 603 CF is one of the best examples of material for industrial 3D printing ever tested until now, as regards automotive applications, racing and more generally in motorsport and complex markets. In fact, we are able to obtain ultra-light components, with excellent mechanical performance and with a really remarkable surface finish, useful also in advanced testing operations such as tests that, in the racing world for example, are carried out inside the wind tunnels”. Luca Ferroni, Prosilas Technical Manager
The printing tests for the validation of the material were carried out on our EOS P770 3D printer, thus being able to offer our customers also large monolithic parts, maintaining all the quality of a solid and lightweight polymer.
Currently we are the only service provider in Europe to process PA 603 CF on EOS P770 and we can say we are proud of it: a winning choice that allows us to face all the challenges that the industrial market of aesthetic and ultra-light mechanics proposes.
Additive Manufacturing & Prosilas
Third industrial revolution
Some, referring to additive manufacturing, talk about the third industrial revolution. Although it sounds strong, we can certainly say that AM represents a truly revolutionary support in the world of manufacturing, basically for two key factors:
the speed of execution;
These characteristics, which lead to a greater sustainability of both the process and the industrial product, also in an LCA analysis perspective: using AM technologies we can in fact manage an on-demand production and a virtual warehouse, also the printing process, additive and not subtractive, has less waste than traditional manufacturing.
In this dynamic panorama, Prosilas stands out for its quality of products and materials, speed and precision in execution, dynamism and completeness of the offer.
A word from ALM
“Prosilas offers its customers the highest level of quality. It does not find the fastest and cheapest solution. ALM shares the same approach, strongly oriented towards customer satisfaction. We want to provide the right material, what their applications really require. This partnership allows companies to have the certainty of getting the best quality components in the industry! ” – Sam Houston Senior Manager ALM Global
“Our constant commitment is to create more and more performing materials based on customer requests for increasingly competitive applications.” – Weston Harmon Eos R&D Manager
Thanks to this short video interview by Tecniche Nuove.
“With Luca Ferroni, Technical Manager of Prosilas, a 3d printing service specialized in rapid prototyping and additive production, we met a reality that can give a holistic support to industrial production.”
Read the full interview
Prosilas Technical manager
Luca Ferroni is truly a pillar of the Company. For twenty years in Prosilas deals with feasibility studies, technical advice and management of estimates and, finally, the preparation of jobs.