Solar Powered, 3D Printed Car

3D printing possibilities are endless, projects like solar-powered, 3D printed cars support that claim. Solar energy paired with 3D design posed the ultimate challenge for this Australian, student based competition.

“Imagine this: the Australian sun beating down on you, thousands of kilometers of road ahead of you, and a car that must absorb as much solar energy as possible while simultaneously avoiding overheating of the battery. This is just one of the dilemmas that Agoria Solar Team has been working to solve for over a year. Creating a battery that can stay cool in a running car through the outback is not an easy task, so the Solar Team asked our parent company, Materialise, to assist them in building a 3D-printed battery case for their solar-powered car. A car that will carry them in a race through the Australian outback.

Agoria Solar Team has existed for 16 years now, choosing a new team of students from a Belgian university called KU Leuven every two years to carry on the legacy and create a solar-powered car to participate in an impressive race. This competition, Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, takes place over 8 days from Darwin in the north to Adelaide in the south, a total of over 3,000 km. Agoria Solar Team has been designing and building this year’s car, named BluePoint, since July 2018 in order to compete in the race October 13-20, 2019.

Using Laser Sintering and the material PA12, Materialise and the team worked together on a 3D- printed battery case to effectively hold the battery segments together and keep the battery cool enough under the hot Australian sun. 3D printing is the perfect solution for a piece with needs as complex as these because it can create the lattice structure required. This design provides enough structure for the battery, allows airflow to avoid overheating, and is lightweight enough to comply with competition rules.

The group worked over two or three weeks to create the perfect design that was just thin enough to hold the battery together without breaking under the pressure of a running car. With expert 3D printing advice from Materialise, the Solar Team was able to successfully print their piece to assist them as they traverse the Australian terrain. Collaborating and communicating on projects such as these is crucial to ensure that the print is both successful and able to accomplish the designer’s goals.”

Read the full article here.