The Fastest 3D printer yet. Sep 04, 2012 11:59 by Huw Carrington
We’ve looked at 3D printing on more than one occasion; whether it’s speculating about building a moon base with it, learning about a sense of normality being given to an ill child, or letting our mouths water at the thought of printing with food, we can all agree that it’s fascinating.
And now, in a new twist, a group of Belgian students going by the name of Formula Group T have used additive manufacturing (3D printing to you and me) to build up, layer by layer, many parts of a racing car, known as Areion. Further innovations with the car include ‘biocomposite’ materials and an electrical drivetrain, but as these don’t involve printing we won’t be looking much at these.
The entire body of the car has been printed out in 3D, including its sidepods and cooling channels, the latter of which were created from the ground up with complex inner channels that should ‘cyclone’ dirt and unwanted material out of the system. Parts of its outer layer have been given textures described as being similar to that of shark-skin, to help improve its aerodynamics.
But what does that mean for those of us at home?
Maybe someday, having had a ding in the car, instead of going out to the garage to pay for labour, parts, and all the other bits and pieces, it’ll be as simple as downloading some blueprints of the car, and printing off a new wing or bumper ourselves.
Maybe we’ll even increase the size of our recycling envelopes, to send the damaged bits back in.
With all of these developments, I for one look forward to what the future holds.