A team of 16 students at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have designed and built a 3D printed electric car powered by solar energy.
Called Venture 8, the urban vehicle consists of a 3D printed, lightweight body that was mounted on a carbon fibre single shell chassis.
“We are extremely proud to have designed and assembled a 3D-printed body shell for the electric car,” Associate Professor Ng Heong Wah said. “The 3D printed car body was pushing existing technology to the limits and we are so pleased that it has paid off. Using the latest engineering techniques learnt from their studies in NTU, the students have developed innovations such as silicon solar cells that can be contoured to follow the car’s shape.”
The concept car is able to reach a maximum speed of 60 km/h while maintaining low energy consumption. To keep the weight to a minimum the cabin was made from lightweight plastic that was 3D printed as a honeycomb-like structure.
Co-designer Ng Jun Wen explained: “For it to be lightweight, thin and yet strong, we integrated a honeycomb structure and a unique joint design to hold the parts together. When seen against the light, the structure has a translucent see-through effect, like a dragonfly wing.”
This project, the students have been working on for over a year, was made possible through the $ 30 Million NTU Additive Manufacturing Centre launched back in May last year.
The NTU Venture 8 will enter the Shell Eco-marathon Asia in the category Urban Concept at the end of February, where – among other criteria – vehicles will compete on which can travel the furthest while using the least amount of energy.