In Heerlen, a city in the south of The Netherlands, students are using tabletop 3D printers and PLA plastics to make a car that will compete in the Shell Eco-marathon 2014.
The students are from college Hogeschool Zuyd and call themselves the Euregiorunners. They are among the teams aiming to drive the furthest on the least energy at the 30th annual EcoMarathon held in Rotterdam, 15-18 May. The Euregiorunners are one of 19 Dutch teams in the competition that includes 229 students from 26 countries. Thanks to 3D printing’s ability to produce lightweight parts, the Euregiorunners may have an edge.
The Euregiorunners are entering their battery electric-powered car in the UrbanConcept category – which considers everyday driving needs. The team is on a tight budget to produce a unique, energy-efficient design, and 3D printing has offered a good solution. 3D printing has saved them money in expensive wooden molds and has produced great results.
Over the last decade, 3D printing has made huge forward strides in development. Shoe brands like Nike and New Balance are adopting this technique to make shoes highly customized to the specific needs of customers and, more importantly, to their feet. 3D printing could change their future with saving a lot of time, work and with no more shoes with the wrong characteristics left in stock. Will other branches adopt 3D printing for the making of their products as well?
Could this 3D printed car be an example for the automotive industry?