Airforce Velocity Stacks uses industry 4.0 to super charge product development
Airforce Velocity Stacks, located in St. Albert AB, was founded by Ryan Hodgson, motorsports enthusiast and former NHRA Funny Car World Champion. Airforce makes custom snowbike air intakes for customers across North America, and they are always pushing the performance limits to get that extra edge. Through their years of building engine combinations, they have learned how vital airflow is to making power and how critical it is for your cams’ performance.
Airforce Velocity was looking for a partner that could produce parts that were precise and robust enough for real-life testing in a vehicle’s engine compartment, with rapid turnaround and a collaborative approach to product development and where part manufacturing is considered at all points of design.
Custom prototyping with rapid part iteration and refinement
Market validation prior to large investment
On-demand manufacturing of low-volume production runs
fast turnaround times from a local manufacturer
Photo courtesy of Airforce Velocity Stacks
Airforce Velocity Stacks had a throttle body that they wanted to redesign to boost performance, but the cost of casting a new aluminum part for each design change was cost prohibitive and not responsive enough for rapid prototyping. Airforce needed to make a prototype that could be tested on a bike in the real world, and create a variety of iterations of and improvements to the design in a condensed time frame. Local manufacturing was also a consideration. Airforce approached Tempus 3D for a solution.
The team at Tempus 3D worked with their partners at the Selkirk Technology Access Centre (STAC), part of Selkirk Innovates team, to scan existing parts to create a starting point for the design changes Airforce wanted to test. Then, with the design support of Tempus 3D's design partner, industrial designer and instructor Bruce Fitz-Earle, they were able to quickly make prototypes that Tempus was able to print on their industrial 3D printer, making accurate high quality parts that Airforce was able to start testing on their snow bikes right away. These new parts resulted in a marked increase in horsepower and torque while significantly reducing overall weight.
Digital scanning combined with additive manufacturing was an ideal solution for this project. 3D scanning provides a finely detailed 3D map of the original part, which in turn can be edited to fine-tune the design. Tempus 3D manufactured the prototypes with Nylon PA 12 produced with an HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer. Industrial nylon is ideal for creating functional prototypes because it is affordable, robust, and is resistant to moisture and chemicals. HP MJF 3D printers are designed for commercial use, producing plastic parts with the precision, density and uniformity required to stand up to long-term abuse.
The accuracy and quality provided with Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing allowed for the parts to be fit onto bikes for not just dyno testing in the shop, but for actual real world testing on the track and in the mountains. Because these parts aren’t subject to extreme heat the team at Airforce was able to put them through a range of testing in a condensed time period that would not have been possible using other manufacturing techniques and materials.
By being relatively low cost compared to CNC machining while maintaining comparable levels of accuracy, 3D printing is becoming the go-to solution for prototyping parts like this.
Airforce, Tempus, and STAC continue to work together to develop a number new and innovative products using some of the most sophisticated advanced manufacturing tools. All three companies are heavily invested in keeping manufacturing in Canada by being leaders in the industry 4.0 revolution. As Airforce continues to invest in innovation Tempus 3D will be there to help them with prototyping and design, and get their products from concept to market in record time.
With Tempus’ location in the interior of British Columbia it is uniquely capable of serving the Canadian market with cost-effective overnight shipping and the ability to turn around rush orders in as little as 36 hours. We at Tempus feel this is just the beginning of what manufacturing will look like in the future; it will be more responsive, more custom, and more local allowing innovators across sectors to bring products to market quicker and in a more environmentally friendly way.
Learn more about Airforce Velocity Stacks at https://airforcevelocitystacks.com/
Learn more about prototyping and manufacturing solutions with Tempus 3D
Explore industrial plastics available through Tempus 3D
Learn more about the advantages of industrial 3D printing with HP Multi Jet Fusion technology