Students from the Nanyang Technological University have unveiled Singapore’s first solar electric car with a 3D-printed frame.
Young Makers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have made history by building a pair of 3D-printed solar electric cars, a first of their kind in Singapore. These efforts follow in the footsteps of the latest advancements by companies like Local Motors in offering a glimpse into the future of auto manufacturing.
The first car — referred to as NTU Venture 8 (NV 8) — is comprised of 150 parts that were 3D-printed using lightweight ABS plastic in order to maximize space inside the vehicle and to make the driver more comfortable while handling it. The body, internal trim and other components were then mounted on a carbon fiber monocoque chassis. According to the team, printing and assembling the shell took approximately three months to complete.
The NV 8 is described as an urban concept car that can reportedly achieve a top speed of about 37 mph, and is set to hit the track at Shell’s Eco-marathon Asia later this month. There, it will compete alongside NTU’s other prototype, NV 9. This model is a slick three-wheeled racer capable of handling sharp corners with its motorcycle-like tilting abilities.
The eco-car prototypes incorporate handmade silicon solar cells along their curved surfaces, and have been designed to be fuel-efficient. In fact, the team claims each vehicle gets an estimated mileage of 264 miles per kWh of electrical energy. The NV 8 weighs 265-pounds without a driver, and embodies an attention-grabbing design with vertical opening doors; whereas, the NV 9 weighs a mere 93-pounds without a driver.
The NV 8 will compete in the “Urban Concept” category at Shell’s Eco-marathon Asia that takes place in Manila from February 26–March 1, while the NV 9 will partake as a “Prototype.” For the Urban Concept category, teams must enter more “roadworthy” fuel-efficient vehicles, while for the “Prototype” category, teams are encouraged to submit futuristic prototypes focused on maximizing fuel efficiency through innovative design elements. NTU had partnered with Stratasys and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) to bring the project to life.
Interested in learning more? Read the official announcement here.