3D service Materialise has been working with the Signature F3 Euro Series team to fine tune their racing cars, apparently quite successfully.
The approach is to duplicate the aerodynamic scenario by testing a scale model of the proposed car design in a wind tunnel. By tweaking the shape of critical parts, the airflow can be highly optimized with great confidence the same effects will occur at full size on the track.
Materialise produced a starter set of 50 parts for testing, but this will increase to approximately 200 through the four test sets. The car model is scaled to one metre in length so that parts can be easily produced and tested. Precision manufacturing is absolutely required in order to ensure accurate airflow. Materialise achieved this using their laser sintering capabilities.
(Note: the image above is *not* from the actual Signature test; that, of course, is Top Secret.)
How did they do? They finished first and second in the initial two races!