Sep 16, 2016 | By Tess

There has been lots of hype surrounding Hyperloop, the proposed high-speed transportation technology that could conceivably get passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just 30 minutes. The Hyperloop concept, which has been updated and proposed by Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla, could reach top speeds of 1200 km/hour (760 mph) by using a pneumatic tube transportation system that incorporates reduced-pressure tubes containing pressurized capsules that are driven by linear induction motors and air compressors.

Of course, while this may seem like a dream transportation system, there is still a lot of work to be done to realize it, and that’s where Chinese 3D printing construction company WinSun may have a role to play. According to the Chinese company, it has signed a formal cooperation agreement with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), the American research company dedicated to developing the innovative transportation system. The HTT itself is made up of a crowd collaboration that includes researchers and engineers from NASA, Boeing, SpaceX, and more.

The agreement, which was signed last month, stipulates that WinSun will be joining HTT’s technology crowdsourcing team in order to help make the construction of the high-speed rail system possible in the United States. WinSun’s particular task will be to put together an R&D team dedicated to developing a 3D printing technology suitable for the Hyperloop’s high-speed system. This means a 3D printing construction technology that will be able to print high-intensity, high-precision railway pipeline facilities, stations, and platform facilities.

According to WinSun, their 3D printing construction system could offer a more efficient way of creating the Hyperloop’s pipeline as it would eliminate the need for such processes as forging, molding, and assembly that are required for steel or resin pipes. The 3D printed pipes, made based off of a digital model, could be printed in one go, with a high quality material that would ensure excellent sealing and strength.

Other aspects of the Hyperloop system are being developed simultaneously, of course, and the HTT even announced that it would be constructing a full-scale 5 mile (8km) prototype track starting in 2016. Whether this date will be met seems uncertain, as only a few months remain in the year, but one can imagine with such a large scale project that delays are inevitable.

WinSun, for those unfamiliar, is one of the pioneering forces in 3D printed construction. The Chinese company has to date realized a number of impressive 3D printed construction projects, which include 3D printed villas and apartment blocks, 3D printed Chinese courtyards, and even 3D printed public restrooms. Whether we will see their work on a completed Hyperloop system remains to be seen, but we do see promise in the collaboration.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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