The Most Engineering Technology You’ve Seen Jammed into 13 Minutes

As 2020 came to a close, it’s fair to say it was a year defined by both its difficult challenges and inventive solutions. Its lasting effects remain to be seen, though some seem more predictable at the current moment than others. One large shift we saw, partially due to necessity, was a move to more remote work. As such, we saw a massive shift in adoption among tools that catered to these new working styles.

While we’re all looking forward to a return to relative normalcy, I think I speak for many readers and community members in predicting that remote work will not ‘go away.’ While in some cases, remote work is not possible, we found ourselves in 2020 bending our processes to see where it is possible.

This is definitely something Stephan Papadakis of Papadakis Racing demonstrated, in the video below and described in detail.

Papadakis Racing is both a sport-performance business and the most winningest drift team in history. They also have a YouTube channel with >560k subscribers, which caters to automotive/engineering enthusiasts from around the world who are interested in the teachings and builds chronicled by the team.

In this specific video, which has been watched by >500k people at time of writing, Stephan packs a jaw-dropping amount of technology into the piece. None of it is forced – and all of it was used in what came out to be a race-winning custom turbo header they put into their Supra engine.

As SOLIDWORKS users, we all know great design is part of the story. How we plan our projects, manage specifications, and actually manufacturer/make our designs is a big part of the overall story as well. And in this video, Stephan covers much more than ‘just design.’

This is where 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS (and 3DEXPERIENCE® Works altogether) comes into play. With 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS giving Stephan and his collaborators at Full-Race shared access to SOLIDWORKS Connected, they were able to bring in scan data generated from a 3D scanning arm, and model the custom turbo header to specification around the rest of the pertinent engine components.

This was important. They were able to leverage the power of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD that they’d come to know over many years in industry, with the important addition of a shared working environment and several other capabilities that helped make this project a success.

For example: project planning capabilities and team communication spaces. They used Collaborative Business Innovator (most notably, the 3DSwym app) to share modeling and project information in a free-flowing, forum like space. In addition to 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS (full list of capabilities linked here), Stephan also used Project Planner to keep tabs on their overall progress – which allowed him to assign tasks and get an overview of what remained to be done as the project leader.

And, of course, when you have access to SOLIDWORKS Visualize (with SOLIDWORKS Visualize Connected a part of the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium offers), how can you resist making stunning renderings to really ‘flex’ on a project once the design is complete?

In fitting all the components together, you get insight into how Stephan and his team think and prototype. You’ll see he uses plastic 3D prints to get a feel for fittings and such during the ideation phases, before moving into manufacturing of the final product.

One of the things I found most interesting about the way the turbo header was manufactured – aside from the metal 3D printing element – was the level of consideration on material choice. Inconel 625 was the actual material they chose to use in this case.

It isn’t a stainless steel, and at high temperatures, it’s found to be about “4 times as strong as stainless steel,” as Stephan explains, so you can make the part thinner and lighter while maintaining the preferred amount of reliability for the end use case.

Once all the parts are created, we get some beautiful shots of the overall assembly and welding. I find these spots to be some of my favorite, in terms of the value of Stephan’s narration. As a viewer, he spares no detail on sharing measurement information, and the abundance of crucial considerations shared with his audience (regarding performance, timing of his builds, and much more).

Be sure to check out the video above, and of course, subscribe to Papadakis Racing for more automotive engineering goodness! And, as Stephan mentions at the end of the video, you can for register for 3DEXPERIENCE World 2021 (fully virtual) today with VIP code 3DX21DRIFT (while supplies last) to press ‘turbo’ on your own design game!

Sean O'Neill

Sean O'Neill

As the Senior Strategy & Community Manager here at SOLIDWORKS, Sean helps connect community members from around the world who go above & beyond in sharing their SOLIDWORKS passion and expertise. Sean also looks to amplify the voices and efforts of many community members who seek to inspire others through their usage of our products.