May 23, 2016
Every month we ask someone from the 3D printing sector to write about what they're thinking, doing or printing. Today our guest blogger is Matylda Stefanowska, member of the KGHM Lodz Solar Team. They successfully took part in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2015, racing their solar car through 3000 kilometers of the Australian desert, from Darwin to Adelaide.
KGHM Lodz Solar Team from Poland is a student group from the Lodz University of Technology, with a fresh outlook on renewable sources of energy in the automotive industry. We wanted to be the first team from Central-Eastern Europe to participate in the World Solar Challenge and entered our car in the Cruiser class. The innovative solar car we constructed, the Eagle One, was named after the Polish national symbol. We've had a great chance to use 3D printing technology in our prototyping phase and our Ultimaker 2 Extended 3D printer definitely contributed to our debut success during the World Solar Challenge in 2015!
By frequently trying out new ideas, we could easily and competently prepare the car for a long journey in adverse weather conditions. The quality of the parts printed and ease-of-use made the printer trouble-free. Not only simple elements, like holders and knobs, but also complex parts and elements of the cockpit were printed for the car.
The wide range of available printing materials enabled us to create both aesthetic and functional assemblies, which helped us save on costly designing time. And more importantly, our printer combined two crucial qualities – both accuracy and great operating speed!
Ultimaker has managed to reconcile creativity with a cost-effectiveness that gave us the opportunity to build our car with self-designed components. Our team’s work on these original parts boosted the creativity of all its members and resulted in the unique design of our solar car. Without a doubt, the experience of working with the Ultimaker printers has benefitted our team in the final race and added to our group’s international success. We hope to continue to use 3D printing effectively!