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Madman uses 3D printing to create functional F1-style gearbox

Devising a transmission from scratch? Indeterminate Design made it happen.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read

I bet you were pretty proud of that loaf of sourdough you whipped up from scratch while stuck at home. But did you 3D-print your own functional Formula 1 gearbox design from the ground up? Don't worry, because one person already did.

The Indeterminate Design YouTube channel recently posted its fifth video in an ongoing series chronicling the design and construction of a Formula 1-style gearbox that actually functions. The most recent episode is focused on the real meat and potatoes, showcasing the transmission's ability to rattle off high-speed shifts from a small F1-ish wheel connected to the 'box.

What makes this even wilder is that Indeterminate Design didn't just copy an existing F1 transmission piece for piece. Instead, the creator whipped up his own design in Fusion 360, based on a mish-mash of technologies found in actual F1 transmissions. The actual assembly is an arduous process, as noted in the most recent YouTube video, involving all matter of filing and various tricks of the trade to get those tolerances as tight as can be.

HRE unveils updated 3D-printed titanium wheels

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The result is damned impressive. Of course, being a 3D print, it's not exactly designed to handle the same insane loads that actual F1 gearboxes do, and the creator notes that this is largely a passion project that'll result in a good desktop model. But nevertheless, it's wild to see just how far a car geek's creativity can go in 2020, albeit with some fairly expensive hardware.

Additive manufacturing, which is the formal name for 3D printing , is slowly working its way into automakers' portfolios, as well. Ford's got a new manufacturing facility cranking out 3D-printed parts for the Shelby GT500. Porsche is working to add 3D printing tech to its seat manufacturing to offer even more customizability. On the aftermarket side, HRE is experimenting with metal additive manufacturing to create printed titanium wheels that rock otherwise-impossible designs.

(Hat tip to Motor1!)