This week's Must See video and article comes from Modern Machine Shop. Gears are expensive parts to make in small quantities. This video from 3D Systems describes how just one gear—for an oil pump—was critical to overcoming a problem with excessive oil pressure in a Mitsubishi 4G63 race engine for a car run at over 185 mph.
English Racing of Camas, Washington, knew that a change in gear size might solve the problem, but the team didn’t know how to get this gear. The complex custom part would have been costly to machine as a one-off job, particularly since one-off prototypes would also be needed to test and refine the design.
Enter Metal Technology of Albany, Oregon. They proposed additive manufacturing instead, printing the part directly from the CAD model on its ProX 300 direct metal sintering machine. This video shows the part not only being additively manufactured in this way, but also functioning successfully at full speed within the engine:
Additive manufacturing once again solves issues previously too costly or too difficult to machine. Tip of the hat to HPI's Steve Murray for the heads-up about the video!