World’s First 3D Printed Titanium Internal Combustion Engine Features in Student Team’s Shell Eco-marathon Car
We’ve seen other teams use 3D printing technology to make their Eco-marathon cars, but a team from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand just created, designed, and built the world’s first 3D printed titanium internal combustion engine (ICE) for their car in this year’s Eco-marathon Asia.
Their 2017 car was the university’s first entry in the international competition, and a world-first as well, but the UC engineering students wanted to kick things up a notch this year.
The 2018 entry builds on last year’s award-winning car, using the same thermoplastic body, but adding a 3D printed titanium engine, which runs on sustainable, carbon neutral ethanol. 3D printing to create engines for rockets, drones, and planes has been on the rise. When it comes to race cars, usually the engines themselves aren’t fully 3D printed, but rather certain key components.
The UC car, and the first ever 3D printed internal combustion engine, were unveiled at the university for the first time this past week.
While winning the Vehicle Design award last year was great, the 2017 team was sad to have missed out on the final, which is why they pushed themselves to do something completely new with their vehicle entry this year.
“Our main focus has been on the development of our own 3D-printed single-cylinder internal combustion engine,” said UC’s Eco-marathon student team leader Robbie Murray. “The development of our own engine purpose-built for efficiency offered a challenging yet rewarding goal.”
The UC team and its one-person car, complete with 3D printed engine, will compete in the international 2018 Shell Eco-marathon Asia in Singapore next month, which will attract more than 100 teams from universities and institutes in the Asia-Pacific region.
Murray said, “We’re excited to show our car to the world and put New Zealand on the map in Singapore this year. Over the past year, the team has worked incredibly hard to produce not only a competitive vehicle, but one that demonstrates fresh and forward-thinking ideas. We want to define who we are as New Zealanders, and our drive to create bold and innovative solutions to the problems with which we are faced.”
The UC team’s Eco-marathon car was designed to only travel a distance of about 135 km, and the fuel tank only holds 330 ml of fuel – working out to be around 400 km per liter of fuel.
Owen Hey, Wells General Manager from Shell New Zealand and a UC Engineering alumnus, had a chance to attend the launch event for the car and its 3D printed engine, and expressed how “delighted” he was with how the team was embracing the challenge and its difficulties.
UC Design Engineer Bruce Robertson, with the UC Mechanical Engineering department and the team’s mentor, said, “Every year our UC Engineering students challenge themselves with ever more out-there ideas, and I’m incredibly proud that they’re so effective at turning them into reality.”
“Watching the students develop the car over the last 12 months, I’ve been amazed with their bold ideas and their determination to push the boundaries – this has led to them achieving two world-firsts within their first two years of competition,” Heys said. “The first 100% recyclable thermoplastic car last year and this year the first 3D-printed titanium engine.
“It has been a privilege to be able to support and advise the team. And I can tell you that you can definitely teach an old dog new tricks because I learnt plenty from the team along the way, too.”
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the comments below.[Source: University of Canterbury]
You May Also Like
Metal Printing with 3D Systems On Demand Services
Metal 3D printing has taken flight in the popular imagination over the past years, but what can businesses do with metal printing today? What kind of parts make sense in...
Australian Man Receives 3D Printed Titanium Replacement for Sternum
Walter Santos of Australia is living much more comfortably now, thanks to a 3D printed titanium implant in his sternum. The device, developed by Dr. Michael Harden at Royal North Shore...
Australia: Titomic Unveils Largest 3D Printed UAV, Over 1.8 Meters in Diameter
Titomic, is unveiling what they claim to be the largest titanium 3D printed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at over 1.8 meters in diameter (almost six feet). Created at Titomic’s research...
Cummins Expands Portfolio by Investing in GE Additive’s Metal Binder Jet 3D Printing Technology
Indiana-based diesel engine maker Cummins Inc. has a long history of designing, manufacturing, distributing, and servicing power solutions. Founded 100 years ago, the company works with customers in nearly 200 countries...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.