May 16, 2016 | By Tess

A couple weeks ago we covered a story about Steve Rosewell, the founder of Australian prop design studio Studio Kite, who made a 3D printed Billycart. The impressive 3D printed propulsion-free cart, which bears some likeness to the Batmobile’s design, raced this past weekend at the 23rd annual Bangalow Billycart Derby in northern New South Wales and the results of its performance are now in!

Though the 3D printed cart, which Rosewell named Bukitti, won only one of three races, and seemed to struggle with maintaining its speed, its sleek and technologically made design were still the talk of the town. The 3D printed cart was up against a number of other carts made from various materials, such as scrap wood and metal, and was the only one racing that was made using 3D printing technologies.

Despite having not performed its best at this year’s Bangalow Billycart Derby, Rosewell is still happy with his 3D printed design and explains that its main flaw was its lack of speed. He says, “It was a great car to handle but it wasn't quite as streamlined as it could've been. Maybe next time we'll give it a pointier nose.”

Since the race, Rosewell has not yet decided whether he will continue working on the 3D printed cart or what he will do with the impressive looking print, suggesting that maybe it would end up in a display case at the Smithsonian Museum in New York, or that he might just melt it down to print another one.

Rosewell’s Bukitti cart was made in his studio from chipped plastic that was remelted into a recycled ABS filament. Being quite large in size, the cart was not printed on any desktop 3D printer but rather was manufactured using Rosewell’s own multi-axis robot arm and FDM extrusion machine, which he invested in years ago for his prop manufacturing. Though the technology cost him close to $100,000, Rosewell maintains that it was well worth it, as the 3D printing system has helped him to save both time and money in terms of production and material costs over the years.

He explains, ”You think about how much labour it saves and how much material costs it saves. It's well worth it. Traditional processes require elaborate moulding systems and they can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. The average plastic garden chair that people take for granted, there could be $100,000 of engineering that goes into the moulds that makes those parts. We can eliminate all of that. There are a couple of products we've made that are literally a couple of hours from concept to product.”

While Rosewell’s 3D printed cart was undeniably impressive, we will have to wait until next year to see whether he makes a new and improved design for next year’s races. You can check out the video here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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