16 student engineers from Group T in Belgium have created electric race cars made almost entirely out of 3D printed parts. They called their first version "Areion" and it was tested on the Hockenheim race circuit in Germany.
The students used a printing process from Materialise called mammoth stereolithography to produce the cars. Stereolithography works by concentrating a beam of ultraviolet light into a pool of UV curable material, hardening the material one layer at a time until the piece is finished. Most stereolithography machines have small build areas, but the Materialise Mammoth can produce pieces as big as 6.8 ft x 2.2 ft x 2.2 ft.
It took three weeks to print out the parts for Areion and it weighed in at 617 lbs. Group T aerodynamically designed the car to reduce drag and increase thrust, with its top speeds hitting right around 88 mph. After production the Areion completed two races and finished 11th in the Hockenheim circuit. It was also honored with the Best Teamwork Award from Airbus.
By all accounts Areion was a success, but Group T didn't stop there. They've just rolled out a second evolution of their 3D printed race car. They're calling it "Eve".
Eve is so new that Group T hasn't had a chance to race her yet. We do know that she has a fully 3D printed shell and weighs about 573 lbs. Her top speed is 75 mph and she can go from 0 to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds.
You can view Eve's production video here:
While Eve and Areion are currently the only 3D printed formula cars, additive manufacturing technology is being used to develop a consumer car called the Urbee. The Urbee is almost ready to take a cross-country test drive on just 10 gallons of fuel.