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Technology

Solar car design used 3D engineering technology


The University’s solar car team created the “Infinium,” a 10th-generation solar vehicle. Image sourced from the University
of Michigan

An advanced solar car developed by students of the University of Michigan utilizes advanced engineering techniques from the Z Corporation.

The university’s solar car team created the “Infinium,” a 10th-generation solar vehicle that will race against more than 50 other teams in the six-day competition the Global Green Challenge on October 25 of this year.

The Infinium can go for more than 300 miles without the sun, but using a lithium battery, space-grade solar cells, and an in-wheel electric motor that peaks at 98% efficiency. It has a top speed of 87 miles per hour and weight of only 400 pounds.

The university’s engineering approach exemplifies the standardization of 3D scanning and printing in advanced R&D organizations.

The team used a Z Corporation 3D printing and scanning. The team members used a ZScanner 700 to inspect prototypes against digital designs to ensure accuracy for wind tunnel testing and capture engineering data from solar car prototypes from the team’s 20-year history.

The team also used a ZPrinter multicolor 3D printer to create prototypes of parts like its ergonomic steering wheel and motor housing. These helped the team conduct form, fit, and functional testing before production.

The Z Corporation makes products to enable users to capture, edit, and print 3D data. Its 3D printers are said to be the world’s fastest. The technology is used in a wide range of applications in manufacturing, architecture, engineering, geographic information systems, medicine, and entertainment.


Katrice R. Jalbuena


Sources:

1 http://www.zcorp.com/en/Press-Room/University-of-Michigan-Students-Advance-Solar-Car...
2 http://www.zcorp.com/en/home.aspx
3 http://www.engin.umich.edu/newscenter/feature/solarcar/
4 http://solarcar.engin.umich.edu/

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