In Detail: 3D printed Hydraulic Fluid Reservoir


A rarely seen part that came with some other R&D mock up parts is this Hydraulic fluid reservoir.  This small unit keeps the hydraulic pump fed with fluid, although the example I have a 3D printed part and the finished part on the race car is more likely to be a carbon fibre piece.


3D printed parts are commonly used for mock up parts, obviously being a quick way to get a net shape part without investment in tooling.  Teams will build up sub-assemblies and near complete cars during the winter mock up stage.  As you can see from this part, the fluid fittings and anti vibration mounts are identical to the racecar part.


I will cover the full workings of the F1 car’s hydraulic system in a subsequent blog post, but as mentioned, this reservoir is just to hold extra fluid to ensure the system has enough oil to operate.  Thus it’s only a small capacity, I measured this at just 140cc, although the thicker walls of the 3D printed part may reduce capacity somewhat.

Just 35mm in diameter and 210mm tall, the reservoir is tiny and curved to fit into the shaped volume of the sidepod.  This part will sit on the radiator ducting close to the hydraulic pump low down on the engine.  Its weighs very little although the 127g mock up part will not be the same as the finished component.


There are Hydraulic fittings top and bottom, although the spigot on the very bottom appears to be form mounting purposes not a fluid outlet.  The proper fluid outlets are typical F1, with the pipe’s fluid fitting sitting inside the hole, sealed with an O-ring and the pair bolted together with a stud fitted to the reservoir.  There’s an outlet at the bottom and an inlet.


Mounting, again is normal F1 practice, with anti vibration mounts and top hat spacers on the upper bracket.