A group of 16 engineers named “Group T” has unveiled a racing car “Areion.” The group is competing in Formula Student 2012 challenge, and the car it has unveiled is world’s first 3D printed race car. The Areion is not fully 3D printed but most of it is. It was tested on Hockenheim race circuit and went from zero to 100km/h in just four seconds. The maximum speed achieved by the car on the same circuit was 141km/h. The car is eco friendly as well as a motivation for innovative technology. Cutting-edge technologies bestowed on the environmentally friendly race car include an electric drive train, bio-composite materials and 3D printing on a big scale with Materialise.
“Mammoth stereolithography” is a machine created by “Materialise” and is used to manufacture parts of upto 2100x680x800mm. The Group T team thought of not only 3D printing the entire body of the car but also planned to incorporate some exclusive features straight away into the design. The machine was able to finish whole printing in just three weeks. 3D printed race car had integrated clips and connection points.
A shark skin texture has been printed directly on the nose of the Areion, which helps in reducing drag and increasing thrust. Side pods are created with intricate cooling channels, left side pod optimizes cooling by forming an ideal flow of air through radiator, and right side pod is created to form a cyclone like effect that eliminates water and dirt from air before it goes into the engine compartment.
The Areion car completed two races successfully and Formula Group T won Best Teamwork Award by Airbus. Koen Huybrechts, who made the drivetrain, won “Craig Dawson,” the most valuable team member award. The car bagged 11th position in a race in Germany on Hockenheim racing circuit.
Overall specifications of the car are brilliant, it can achieve zero to 100 in just 3.2 seconds and can achieve a top speed of 141km/h. It weighs approximately 280 kgs, uses LiPo packed in 50 V module batteries, a Steel tubular spaceframe chassis and a Full 3D printed bodyshell.