The 3D printing technology is slowly finding its place in more and more aspects of the automotive industry, varying from high-tech titanium exhaust tips covers for a supercar to 3D printed wheels and even entire scale models. Every time we report on this fascinating technology we are wondering where’s the limit in terms of dimensions of the printed details. Here’s the answer.
It turns out you can actually print a scaled Formula 1-style gearbox as this guy from the Indeterminate Design channel on YouTube did. It’s a truly impressive (and scaled) piece of engineering and it’s actually a fully working replica, which changes gears quickly and precisely thanks to paddle shifters.
“I’ve always loved the technical side of motorsports. I used to race and build my own cars, but life circumstances changed. So I thought how can I still participate in this world and I decided to start these projects,” the creator of the project explains in a Reddit post.
So far, he has released five videos detailing the process of engineering and building the gearbox. It all started with a detailed virtual model of the transmission designed with Fusion 360. It’s important to note that the design is not an exact copy of any particular F1 gearbox but a mix of different designs.
Gallery: 3D printed F1-style gearbox
“It’s much different than the gearbox in your road car. The biggest difference between this and other paddle shifting racing gearboxes is the unbelievable level of optimisation of design/materials and the shift speeds. It can shift so fast that it can actually be in two gears at once for a very brief moment.”
In the latest video of the project (attached at the top of this article), you can see the transmission doing its thing and changing gears just like a real transmission. Unfortunately, it’ll “primarily be just for display purposes” but someday the talented creator “may try to print it out of stronger materials and see what it could handle.” Fingers crossed!