New 3D printer boosts our capabilities

Identifying a need for rapid solutions to a wide range of engineering obstacles, our R&D team purchased our first 3D printer. Requiring as big a build area as possible for the larger prints, as well as good detailing capabilities and fast print times meant that BIZ chose the ” Ultimaker2 Extended” to provide prints such as throttle cable adjustments, pulley covers and electronic switch mounts. This has provided intricate detailing not previously attainable for our more delicate applications (notably EcoVolt NG components) as well as robust and aesthetically pleasing solutions to larger projects. Despite some of the print times being as long as 48 hours non-stop, we’re still benefiting from time saving compared with using external prototype tooling.

BIZ has since sent out various 3D printed parts to our customers including EcoVolt Cadet switch mounts and NG1 gearbox pulley covers. Take a look at the pictures below to see how the 3D printer parts have turned out!

The R&D team are constantly using the 3D printer to address new challenges and provide fast prototype solutions. One such piece of design work revolves around temperature management of the NG1, our latest petrol kart. The engine and all nearby components are subject to temperatures around 100°C through the gearbox and cylinder head. The team are developing complex fan designs using rapid prototyping to not only cool the air flowing around the engine but to also channel the airflow through the kart and away from the driver, reducing the heat felt through the seat and bodywork.

The prints are currently in a standard PLA (polylactic acid, a material made from renewable resources), but with a more flexible PLA and a stronger ABS also available in a vast array of colours, the facility for further tailoring our products to each individual customer is substantial.

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