Students Build 3D-Printed Solar Car

3d-printed-carThe evolving world of 3D printing is nothing less than astonishing. Today, 3D printing is being used to help create everything from body parts to car parts. As demonstrated at last year’s SEMA Show, an entire car can also be created in real time and driven off under its own power. Now students at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have built the first solar electric car with a 3D-printed body shell that has 150 individually 3D printed parts.

Mounted on a carbon fiber chassis and designed from scratch by NTU undergraduates, the solar NV8 and companion NV9 three-wheeled racer were built within a year at the Innovation Lab housed at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace engineering. The team’s 16 students and mentor Associate Professor Ng Heong Wah collaborated with various NTU schools and research centers, plus sponsors and institutions including Stratasys, Creatz3D, and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART).

The cars will race in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia hosted in Manilla at the end of this month. According to the mechanical engineering students Kam Sen Hao and Ng Jun Wen who designed the NV8, the solar car was originally envisioned to feature a supercar design but the competition’s dimensional requirements resulted in a more sensible micro-car with vertical opening doors.