October 24, 2013 AT 3:00 am

Xiphias Supercar Concept Leverages 3D Printing To Reinvent How Cars Might Be Made in the Future #3DThursday #3DPrinting

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Xiphias Supercar Concept Leverages 3D Printing To Reinvent How Cars Might Be Made in the Future :

The Xiphias Concept, whose name comes from swordfish in Latin, aims to evoke the agility and distinctive look of its namesake.  Suh explains that its mission is to continue redefining the driver experience and address the concerns of the Millennial Generation.

“Our priority is to reach a harmony between a car’s technical and creative elements,” he says.  “These days, car companies are facing a lot of pressure not only from their competition, but also from rising emissions standards and fuel costs.  We want to give automotive developers an added competitive, yet emotive, edge.”

…Scott (IDEAS), Suh (Product Design), and Risland (Finance) came together to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and now are focusing in on an engineering, design, and economics project that promises major impact in the coming years.

Spider-web Chassis

In the search for a stronger and lighter support skeleton, Scott believes he has found the answer by combining two cutting-edge technologies—3D printing and topology optimization.

3D printing, the process in which even the most complex shapes can be built layer by layer, opens up new possibilities for low-waste manufacturing.  And it’s perfect for topology optimization, a computer simulation process that strips away all unnecessary material inside structures.

After months of preparation, Scott expects to arrive at a chassis looking like a spider-web—a net of thin, crisscrossing structural members tracing out the load-paths through the car.  Once testing their design’s crashworthiness using Finite Element Analysis is complete, the students will present a 1:8 scale chassis that is also 3D printed, with little or no waste.

“That’s the beauty of our process,” says Scott.  “If you’re a company who wants to build a super-efficient structure, you won’t be forced to buy 20 tons of material and throw out 19 in the fabrication process, which is currently the reality.” …

Read more about this project and how the participants from Lehigh University came together to design it here. And below is the latest snapshot of the production methods they are exploring:

Xiphias_Concept_October_Update


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Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

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