How a racing enthusiast supercharged engine performance with additive manufacturing
Lawn mower racing enthusiast Kierra Cates needed an edge for then 2023 annual Pass Creek Fall Fair in Castlegar, BC. Knowing how important victory was in in this fun racing event she reached out to Tempus 3D to design a customer air intake for her Briggs & Stratton 12.5 HP lawn mower engine. Modification of the air box is one of the few modifications permitted in this class of racing.
The team at Tempus 3D designed a high-performance air intake based on Kierra’s specifications, and used 3D scanning and 3D printing to create a functional prototype to test in-place on the mower. Once the design was validated, the final part was manufactured with a high-performance, temperature resistant Nylon PA12 and finished with Cerakote ceramic coating to provide an extra level of durability to the part and to make it catch the eyes of the spectators.
Ability to quickly design, test and manufacture custom end-use products.
Low cost alternative to traditional manufacturing, such as injection molding or CNC machining.
Use high-performance finishes to improve the look and performance of 3D printed parts.
Reduced environmental impact by extending equipment life and minimizing wasted materials in the production process.
Keirra was looking to maximize the performance and get an edge in the upcoming riding lawn mower race held annually at the Pass Creek Fall Fair. In search of this edge, Keirra approached Tempus 3D looking for ideas and ways to improve her Briggs & Stratton 12.5 HP power plant. The first thing that came to mind was optimizing the airtake from the original, as this is one of the few modifications permitted in this race. The original air intake was not optimized to take advantage of the large volume of air flow resulting from the high speeds achieved durign the race.
The lawn mower was not designed for speed, so a unique shape was required to maximize the amount of air inflow to the engine. It was also important to build the intake with a durable material that could withstand the rough environment of mower racing the heat produced by the engine while in use. The intake also needed to fit within the engine compartment and achieve a secure connection with the engine mount and new filter.
3D scanning was used to create a template for the connections to the engine and filter, and a prototype was designed to test initial fit and clearance within the engine space. The first prototypes were 3D printed in PLA for a quick fit test before a full protoype was created.
Once fitment was confirmed the design was finalized and the full air intake was ready to manufacture. The final part was made of HP Nylon PA12 for it’s ability to withstand long-term abuse and heat resistance. This material is commonly used in the automotive and aerospace industries for interior and exterior components, and custom engine upgrades.
The part was manufactured with the HP Multi Jet Fusion 5200 3D printer, which provides the precision, material density and smooth finish required for proper fit and long-term durability.
The part could have been used out of the printer as-is, but Cerakote ceramic coating was applied to provide additional protection from water, chemicals, heat and UV rays and give it a visual “wow” factor.
The team at Tempus 3D was pleased to be able to support Kierra through the full design and manufacturing process from initial design through prototyping and manufacturing the final part, while keeping costs low and providing a final product quickly and easily. This upgrade would not have been possible with alternative manufacturing processes such as injection molding, which can cost thousands of dollars and does not allow the design testing and iteration processes required when creating custom parts.
We were happy to help Keirra achieve her goals, and excited to see how the mower performs on the race track this fall.
About Tempus 3D
With Tempus’ location in Trail BC, nestled in the interior mountains of British Columbia’s West Kootenay region. Tempus is uniquely capable of serving markets across North America 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 quickly and in a more environmentally friendly way.
Learn more about manufacturing solutions with Tempus 3D
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