NTU Builds first 3D Printed Solar EV

NTU 3D-printed solar car 4 photos
Photo: NTU
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Another day, another green vehicle concept popping out somewhere on the globe. This time it’s Singapore, where the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) built their first lightweight solar electric car aimed for urban jungles.
The futuristic looking vehicle is named the NTU Venture (NV) 8 and it has been built from scratch, using 3D printing technology for most of its components. The 150-part honeycomb shell is supported by a single shell carbon fiber chassis and the engineers have also come with a new type of flexible solar panels to cover more area.

“We are extremely proud to have designed and assembled a 3D printed body shell for the electric car, which is Singapore’s first and probably Asia’s first 3D-printed concept car,” said Prof Ng. “The 3D printed car body was pushing existing technology to the limits and we are so pleased that it has paid off.”

They first envisioned a supercar design for the EV, but the car is supposed to be part of the Shell Eco-marathon Asia on the streets of Manila starting 26 February, so they had to change plans and build something more urban-like.

Which they actually succeeded, by creating an interesting two-piece combination with a strong shell supported by the lower chassis which makes for a very futuristic look, with no overhangs and all.

The interior is simple and made out of plastic. However, the designers and engineers said they took care about the comfort part as well, while trying to keep things simple and lightweight.

Top speed is reached around the 60 km/h (37 mph) mark. Yeah, quite slow, but don’t forget it is powered by sun rays (possibly a small battery too) and it is conceived for city traffic, where usually the speed limit is bellow that number.

On another story level, the NTU undergraduates have also come up with an even more efficient, single-seater NV9 three-wheeler model, which can actually lean through corners to preserve speed and increase efficiency.

The university said nothing about putting one of the model in production anytime soon. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how they manage with the marathon towards the end of the month and see if any investor would like to fund further efforts.
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