Well, to say the least; that is a whole lot of speed for a small car. CD-adapco’s STAR-CCM+ Software was used by the current record-holder to design this ultra fast remote controlled car.
While to you and I these may seem like some amazing facts which we’d like to read about and watch videos on, James Beswick plans to do more than that. Being a hardcore RC car aficionado: Beswick who comes from Bracknell, UK; believes he can 3D print a remote controlled car that can exceed the current record of 202 mph. Is this possible? Why not?
You see over the years we must admit that 3D printing has been used to do some incredibly jaw-dropping stuff in the Automotive Industry. Many manufacturers have experimented with additive manufacturing (an alternative name for 3D Printing) stretching the borders of the technology to see just what new things can be achieved in terms of revolutionizing the future designs of automotives.
Some manufacturers have used 3D printing to fabricate cheap and quality car parts, others have tried to use the technology to come up with more aesthetically pleasing vehicle designs while a good number of manufacturers have been more intrested in using 3D printing as a tool to customize their vehicle designs to suit the varying tastes and preferences of their vast clientele.
Back to James Beswick. With the hobby of Racing RC Cars, Beswick has always been trying to find better ways to build his cars for speed. Although things have been going fairly well for him, his experience rose to a whole new level when he learnt how to incorporate the use of 3D printing in his designs. 3D printing enabled him to build and design his RC cars easily, efficiently and faster than ever before. Not only did it speed up the building process but it also opened doors to far more possiblities than he had ever expected.
Chaser Designing Tips and Steps
The first thing James loved about additive manufacturing was that it could allow him to easily and quickly build small sturdy parts for his RC cars. In addition, he was no longer limited to using the usually expensive off-the-shelf parts because he could now create most of the parts he needed. Beswick chose to use Ultimaker 2 Extended 3D printer to help him 3D print his newest RC car that he intended to beat the world record with.
One of the main reasons why the Ultimaker 2 Extended 3D Printer was just perfect for James was because it had a tall build volume of 223 × 223 × 305 mm. This large than average build volume made it practical for him to build larger streamlined parts. As a result, the overall number of parts that he needed to use on the car’s design was mitigated and fewer parts meant lesser seams which were bound to inherently increase the speed of the RC car due to improved aerodynamics. Keep in mind that the car he had in mind was supposed to have a 4-foot-long body shell, dimensions which could only be sustained due to Ultimaker’s rather large build volume.
Ultimaker 2 was also ideal for him because of its open filament system which paved way for him to experiment with using different materials in his RC car design. For example, to boost the shock absorption ability of the car; he combined the use of PLA and PHA printing materials. This was necessary because when the car begins to race at super high speeds, its shell becomes naturally prone to be hit and possibly damaged by stones along its path. Therefore to ensure that its performance will not be affected while racing, the shell of the car needs to be made as robust as possible.
Generally, a majority of the RC Car Parts were 3D printed such as the servo holders, controller mounts, shock absorbers, the rear wing and battery and cable clamps.
Beswick disclosed that he had run many tests before he reached to his final prototype design. The tests allowed him to evaluate the capabilities of the car using various designs and materials. He also revealed that since he might not always get the design of some of the parts right the first time he tries to print them; he has a high appreciation of additive manufacturing because it makes it easy to find out where the problem is with the current design and print a ‘fresh’ new part again.
So Was Beswick Successful?
Yes, so far he has been and he named the 3D Printed RC Car the 3D printed ‘Chaser’. During the tests, chaser was not able to go any faster than 100 mph but it was still a good start for Beswick. He explained that now that he already knows the weak spots of his current design, he is going to work on how to improve on the weak areas in order to increase the speed of the car.
For James to beat the world record, there are two main things he will have to primarily focus on and that is; Designing a car that had an exceptionally robust shell and minimal air resistance. Once he gets these things right he will have a real shot at the world’s fastest RC car title.
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