Larsen Motorsports, a research and development center for high-performance vehicles, is using Simulation from Markforged to improve the designs of steering wheels in its jet engine drag racing vehicles.
The stock aluminum steering wheels which they’ve historically purchased and then modified (in a lengthy process) are shaped for much larger hands than those of rookie House of Kolor-sponsored dragster driver, Josette Roach — putting both safety and performance at risk. Larsen Motorsports began exploring the benefits of using 3D printing to print new steering wheels that could 1.) provide a better grip, and 2.) quickly implement important design elements missing in the stock aluminum part that would otherwise take weeks or months to arrive.
Timing is everything. Before races, Larsen needs to be ready with the best possible equipment to maximize safety for drivers and put them in a position to succeed. Supply chain delays — here, long lead times for necessary modifications — jeopardize Larsen’s ability to stay ready. Looking for a reliable and repeatable solution to ongoing supply chain delays, Larsen Motorsports explored Markforged’s Simulation feature through beta availability.
Simulation enabled Larsen to improve the design and optimize the print configuration of an Onyx™ steering wheel with Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR). Physical testing of the 3D printed steering wheel confirmed that it had the strength and stiffness needed to replace the aluminum stock parts. Ultimately, this allowed them to deliver the high-performance parts they need faster — in this case, steering wheels they trust to keep their drivers safe and allow them to perform.