Camarillo, CA- March 11, 2003 -- ESPRIT CAM software developer, DP Technology provided the powerful 3D design and manufacturing solution that enabled Alan Johnson Performance Engineering (AJPE) to build a new intake manifold for its Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Cars. AJPE ran this new manifold for the first time on a Top Fuel Dragster on the opening day of the NHRA Winter Nationals in Pomona, California, the premier drag racing event of the NHRA 2003 season. ESPRIT has been a valuable partner of Alan Johnson Performance Engineering, formally sponsoring the Team Winston dragster and machining top quality cylinder heads, rocker arms, and other components for drag racing, NASCAR, sprint car racing, and Harley Davidson Motor Cycles.
Solid Modeling and Solid Machining Team Up for Results
AJPE decided the team needed a new intake manifold design to help improve the air path flow from the blower through the intake manifold and into to the intake ports on the Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car heads. Increased airflow to the cylinders is crucial to successful racing engines of all types because it translates directly to increased horsepower. A Top Fuel racing engine develops about 6000 hp, thus even a very small improvement can make a significant difference.
Utilizing ESPRIT 's advanced hybrid Surface and Solid modeler, Alan Johnson was able to completely design a new intake manifold as a 3D solid model inside ESPRIT and preview various design ideas on-screen as dynamic 3D solid images. Once the model was perfected, it was sent out to manufacture the magnesium casting, and then returned the part to Alan Johnson to complete the finish machining of the casting. Alan utilized ESPRIT to automatically build the toolpath directly from the solid model of the aluminum casting rather than using an "after-the-fact" approximation. ESPRIT simulated the machining operations on the screen to verify that the "as machined" part matched his original "as designed" version and automatically generated the correct G-code to manufacture the manifold.
Streamlining the Programming Process with KnowledgeBase
The morning after the manifold ran in the Top Fuel Dragster at the NHRA Winter Nationals, Alan Johnson had already received 15 new orders for the manifolds from various Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car teams. In order to accommodate the various Blower/Head combinations utilized by each team, AJPE needed the solid model and associated machining processes for the casting to be updated to reflect the new blower and head connection surfaces. To meet production deadlines, Alan Johnson utilized ESPRIT’s KnowledgeBase tools that simplify the programming process through automation.
“ESPRIT's Adaptive Feature Recognition automatically recognizes part features, as well as properties and relationships of part features, directly from my solid model and then selects the optimum tooling and machining conditions. In addition, we have used family of parts features to automate the programming of parts that are similar to each other. These KnowledgeBase tools make implementing changes so simple that they only take seconds to complete,” says Alan Johnson.
About Alan Johnson Performance Engineering
Alan Johnson Performance Engineering (AJPE) is a high performance cylinder head manufacturing company specializing in new product design and rapid prototyping, for all forms of auto racing. AJPE’s ability to take a product from inception to finished product, rapidly and completely in house, sets them apart from other cylinder head manufacturers worldwide.
AJPE maintains its 25,000 Sq Ft facility in Santa Maria, Ca. and services a customer base worldwide. For additional information about AJPE and its products visit alanjohnson.com or email info@alanjohnson.
About DP Technology and ESPRIT
DP Technology is a CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) software market leader with a mission to provide CNC programmers with the most powerful CAM software ever. The company’s vision of technology’s potential and passion for excellence is captured in its flagship product ESPRIT.
DP Technology maintains its worldwide headquarters and product development teams in Camarillo, California along with sales and support operations in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. For additional information about DP Technology and ESPRIT, call +1-805-388-6000, email DP at
Email Contact, or visit them on the World Wide Web at