When upgrading a Ford Focus ST, the original ducts were not compatible with the larger intercooler being fitted. Graphite Additive Manufacturing were selected to produce a pair of modified ducts in its Carbon Fibre reinforced SLS material.
Graphite took the original ducts, measured them and created a 3D CAD model. This was then modified to fit the new intercooler. In CAD, improvements were made to the original parts with reinforcement ribs to give additional stiffness and strength in key areas.
It is a big benefit of 3D Printing that added complexity can be designed in for no additional cost. Also, geometries that may not be possible with injection moulding can be easily achieved. The pair of ducts took 32 hours to build on an SLS machine and were treated with Graphite’s proprietary sealing technique to give water resistance.
The ducts fitted perfectly with no extra fettling required. After 18 months and (approximately 10,000 miles) the parts were inspected again and described as being in excellent condition.