Feb.10, 2014

Buckle your seat belts, 3D printing is headed for the race track – but in an eco-friendly manner. In Heerlen, a city in the south of The Netherlands, students are using tabletop 3D printers and PLA plastics to make a car that will compete in the Shell Eco-marathon 2014.

The students are from college Hogeschool Zuyd and call themselves the Euregiorunners. They are among the teams aiming to drive the furthest on the least energy at the 30th annual EcoMarathon held in Rotterdam, 15-18 May. The Euregiorunners are one of 19 Dutch teams in the competition that includes 229 students from 26 countries. Thanks to 3D printing's ability to produce lightweight parts, the Euregiorunners may have an edge.

The Euregiorunners are entering their battery electric-powered car in the UrbanConcept category – which considers everyday driving needs. The team is on a tight budget to produce a unique, energy-efficient design, and 3D printing has offered a good solution. The video below is an introduction of Shell Eco-marathon 2014 and student's 3D print energy-efficient car. (Sorry, this video is in Dutch)

The students used tabletop 3D printers like the Ultimaker, Ultimaker 2, and Leapfrog Creatr to produce the dashboard, steering wheel, and large, block molds for the carbon composite exterior of their car. The team also included special features to their design, like the RGB LEDs in their steering wheel.

The Euregiorunners thinks 3D printing has saved them money in expensive wooden molds and has produced great results.

The project was sponsored by industrial designer Alexander Bannink, who contributed time and resources to make it possible for the students to realize their design using 3D printing. So far, Ultimaker has provided 10 3D printers which have allowed students to complete the job with in a reasonably short period.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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