Race success for 3D print gravity race car

Motorsport Students from Bicester Community College have won a thrilling car race, with a helping hand from Laser Lines and motorsport engineering specialists KWSP.

As part of their engineering motorsports diplomas, eight student teams took part in the Gravity Car Race challenge to build a gravity propelled car and race their prototype in the fastest time at Cornbury Park on 10 June.

Race victors Team ALR (Aerodynamic Land Racer) called on Laser Lines and KWSP to help them build parts for their racing car using additive manufacturing processes.

The students worked with KWSP to 3D print aerodynamic covers for wishbones for their racing car using two Stratasys Fortus 400mc printing machines. Laser Lines donated the materials, Black ABS-M30, from which the parts were printed.

Race day build-up

Gravity start line 2During the event, the teams completed five preliminary runs to familiarise themselves with the circuit and make some final adjustments to improve the aerodynamic features and speed of the cars.

Team ALR sailed through the first competitive stage before a closely fought second round secured them a place in the final head-to-head challenge.

In the final, we managed to get a great start, and edged ahead of the other racer. However, as we got to the line they nearly overtook us and we won the race by just one foot!Matt Watson, ALR Team Leader

Inspiring the next generation

After the event Mark Tyrtania, from Laser Lines, said: “We’re delighted to hear the news of Team ALR’s well-deserved win.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to help the next generation of engineers on this exciting race project. It’s been a great opportunity for the students to put the latest additive manufacturing techniques to practical use and see the impact in a competitive race setting.”

The race challenge contributes to the students’ final grades in their Level 3 BTEC motorsports diplomas and the winning car is currently on display for fellow students, tutors and parents to look round.

Matt Watson added: “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank both Laser Lines and KWSP for their support.

“It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience learning about the processes involved in 3D printing…and the various applications of additive manufacturing…We’ve learnt a lot and taken this forward to our report and race day.”

Find out how Laser Lines is helping Birmingham University develop and 3D print complex materials in metal using our SLM 500 HL machine