Additive Manufacturing Strategies

How Far Can A 3D Printed Car Travel On A Liter of Fuel? How about 640 km?

ST Medical Devices

Share this Article

Shell Eco-Marathon Europe_0The Shell Eco-marathon challenges students to design, fabricate and then drive the most energy-efficient car they can create. The three annual events – Asia, Americas and Europe – are all about seeing how far student teams can go on the least amount of fuel.

The competition is split into two classes: The Prototype class for maximum efficiency vehicles, and the Urban Concept class which focuses on practical designs. The student cars are also grouped according to the type of energy they require. The Internal combustion engine class uses fuels such as gasoline, diesel and liquids made from natural gas and ethanol. An electric mobility category features vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-based batteries.

The race was first run in 1939 when a group of Shell Oil Company employees in the US sought bragging rights to see which of them could travel furthest on the same amount of fuel, and since that day, the race has expanded across continents and drives innovation in the future of energy and mobility.

Image 468Now 3D printed materials have been pressed into service as teams went after victory in the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe and Formula Student. The Shell Eco-Marathon Europe, held in July, saw a team called the Iron Warriors use 3D printing technology to prototype and design their vehicle, and that vehicle ended up covering an astonishing 640 km on a single liter of fuel.

The Iron Warriors led the way among the Polish teams, and their lightweight design featured components 3D printed on a Zortrax M200 printer.

Szymon Madziara of the team says 3D printing and design allowed the team to reduce the mass of the finished vehicle.

“By using 3D printing technology we could reduce the weight of the vehicle and boost the score in Rotterdam,” Madziara said. “A 3D printed gear, which is a part of the propulsion transmission, is both durable – and three times lighter – than if we did it with the aluminum. To reduce the mass, we have 3D printed parts for carrying heavy loads, and then cover them with carbon fiber. The effect was fantastic, so we decided to use this technique for our next vehicle.”

A week after the student vehicles rolled out in the Shell Eco-Marathon, the teams moved on to the world’s largest student motorsport event, the Formula Student. Held in the UK, teams of student engineers were faced with competition with vehicles which took them no more than a year to design and build.

One team, KU e-racing of Kingston University in London, took the number one spot among the electric-powered teams in the Formula Student business event for class 1. That team took advantage of 3D printing as well.

“Recently, we’ve noticed that schools and universities are becoming more and more interested in 3D printing, so we decided to support the young engineers from the Kingston University,” says Karolina Bołądź, the COO of Zortrax.

The KU e-racing team began by building a 3D model of the design to test in a wind tunnel. The KU engineers used their model to test for air resistance and provide design inspiration for their vehicle which would ultimately improve their car’s aerodynamic properties.

Madziara says with the aid of 3D printing, his team hopes to one day build a vehicle capable of traveling 1,000 kilometers on that single liter of fuel.

According to Krzysztof Hockuba, a member of the KU e-Racing team, the team’s entry included pedals, a housing for telemetry devices and cockpit components which were 3D printed as well.

Zortrax wind tunnel 2 Zortrax wind tunnel Image 467Have you ever worked on a project which used 3D printing to improve the efficiency or design of a product? Let us know in the Eco-Marathon forum thread on 3DPB.com.

Share this Article


Recent News

FDM 3D Printing Support Removal Times Cut in Half with VORSA 500

3D Printing Drone Swarms, Part 12: 3D Printing Missiles



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

ICAM 2021: Keynotes on 3D Printing in Healthcare & Aerospace

At last month’s International Conference on Additive Manufacturing (ICAM) 2021 in Anaheim, California, hosted by ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AMCOE), a wide variety of topics were covered,...

Featured

3D Printing Unicorns: Gelato Gets $240M in Funding, Expands into 3D Printing

On-demand printing platform Gelato, based in Oslo, Norway, achieved the coveted unicorn status after a new funding round. On August 16, 2021, the company announced it had raised $240 million...

Featured

US Army and Raytheon to Use 3D Systems Metal 3D Printing to Heat-Optimize Munitions

3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) has been chosen by defense contractor Raytheon and the U.S. Army’s central laboratory to help with a design optimization project. To do that, the 3D Systems’...

Raytheon Receives Funding for Aerospace 3D Printing of Optical Components

This spring, Ohio-based America Makes, the leading collaborative partner in additive technology research, discovery, and innovation for the US, announced its latest Project Call for AXIOM, or  Additive for eXtreme Improvement...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.