RAC Cars News

#WeLoveCars

3D Printed Concept Car Unveiled

By raccars Published

Image Source

3D printing has been a hot topic in the world of tech for a few years, capable of producing all sorts of products, from prostheses to tools. But now a team from the Nanyang Technological University over in Singapore have showcased one of the world’s only 3D printed cars. And it is not just the method of manufacturing that makes this model special.

The design of the NTU Venture 8 was formulated at the university and it took 12 months for students and staff to put it all together. The chassis is created using carbon fibre, while the shell is manufactured using 3D printing. Project spokesperson, Ng Heong Wah, said that it really was a state of the art construction.

One of the benefits of 3D printing is that it means you can design everything on a computer and then produce shapes and mechanisms which would be difficult or impossible to manufacture using traditional techniques.

The Venture 8 is an electric car and draws power from the sun using a series of solar panels. It is a concept car designed for use in urban environments. So while it may only have a top speed of 60 kilometres per hour, or about 37mph, it should be more than capable of keeping city drivers happy during the morning commute.

A lower top speed also means it will be more energy efficient than other electric vehicles. And because the body is 3D printed, it is extremely light weight, which allows for yet more energy savings to be made.

At this year’s Shell Eco-Marathon, even the Venture 8 will be competing against a number of other concept vehicles, each attempting to cover the furthest distance as efficiently and effectively as possible.

It will be interesting to see whether 3D printing is used for the mass production of vehicles in years to come. While it may be a relatively slow process using current technologies, as improvements are made, it will no doubt speed up and be harnessed more widely in the automotive industry.

Electric concept cars like this point to a future in which drivers are not reliant solely on fossil fuels. And since the Venture 8 is based on solar power rather than purely on an onboard battery, it should be a bit more versatile than electric vehicles, that are reliant on regular sessions of charging from a mains supply.

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars