The Bloodhound SSC will attempt to claim a new world land speed record in 2015 by being the first car to break the 1000mph barrier. The first part of the car which will break the record will be the titanium 3D printed nose tip.
The Bloodhound SSC is a UK project led by Richard Noble, a previous world land speed record holder with Thrust2, which will attempt to break the record that they already hold with the ThrustSSC car at 763.035mph. That vehicle was piloted by Wing Commander Andy Green, who will also drive the Bloodhound SSC.
The Bloodhound is powered by a Eurojet EJ200 jet engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon which will take it up to 300mph, after which a rocket will take over. A Cosworth built CA2010 Formula One V8 engine is also used as a oxidizer pump for the rocket.
At near 1000mph the 3D-printed nose tip will have to withstand forces as high as 12 tonnes per square meter and is engineered to be hollow and with walls of varying thickness, but still able to handle the stress. The titanium tip will be bonded to the carbon fibre monocoque body which forms the front of the car.
“To machine this component conventionally would be extremely challenging, result in design compromises, and waste as much as 95 percent of the expensive raw material,” explains Dan Johns, lead engineer on the project.
The titanium nose tip was 3D printed using a Renishaw AM250 manufacturing-grade laser melting machine, a process known as laser sintering, which involves fusing fine powdered metal with a high-power laser beam.
Just recently the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, UK Minister for Universities and Science, formally opened the new BLOODHOUND Technical Centre in Avonmouth, Bristol, and was presented with a prototype nose tip mounted on a plaque. The Bloodhound SSC is now being assembled at this new facility prior to runway testing in 2014. It will then be taken to a 12 mile track at Hakskeen Pan in the Mier area of the Northern Cape, South Africa for higher speed testing ready for the record attempt in 2015.
The titanium nose tip is not the only 3D printed part in the vehicle, check out how 3D printing is helping the Bloodhound SSC team reach their 1000mph goal.