We are extremely excited to announce our new collaborative partnership with the University of Bath ‘Team Bath Racing Electric’. This is the flagship project for the Electrical Engineering Department at the University. In only their second year as a team they are gaining incredible momentum and we are looking forward to supporting their efforts in the coming years.
The team aim to leverage their participation in the Formula Student competition as a platform for increased electric powertrain research and development at the University of Bath.
There have currently been no UK Electric teams to successfully pass scruitineering at Formula Student UK and their aim for Silverstone in July is to become the top UK electric team. This is an incredibly exciting time for electrical vehicles and more exciting is that through this project the team and University are developing the next generation of automotive engineers.
Team Bath recognise how quality 3D printing technology is reshaping the way industry and hobbyists alike prototype and manufacture. These changes have become an ever increasingly important tool in their inventory for both education and competition. CREATE Education Project focus on making open source 3D printing easy, accessible and affordable to inspire the next generation of innovators. We all believe the synergies between ourselves TBRe’s core values makes for an ideal partnership.
The team tell us that the Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer gives them the unique opportunity to produce geometries for prototyping and testing with unparalleled ease and speed. Take a look at some of the examples of how the technology is having a positive impact on development of the car:
During the welding of the latest TBRe frame, warping occurred which would have resulted in the misalignment of the suspension geometry. Thankfully with the combination of ingenuity, and the printing capabilities of the Ultimaker 2+ they evised framework guides for locating the remaining welded parts. The guides pictured below sit over the current framework and use the remaining tube to guide the suspension link to its intended location. A guide exists for every connecting node involved which links to the suspension.
Here the guide can be seen in position locating an additional piece of framework for further welding. One side of each guide is exposed so it can be clipped in place and tack welds can be applied. The flexibility of the material used to print is imperative, allowing each guide to snap firmly into place.
To create these guides the team took a 3D scan of the framework and compared it to the CAD model which had been used to design it. The scan was used to create the half tubes which fit the exiting frame, and the original CAD to place the guide tubes in the correct position.
Additionally, prior to the steel framework the concept of using carbon tubing connected by structural inserts was explored. To test the concept the team 3D printed prototype inserts which are pictured below. They eventually chose a more conventional steel framework, but exploring this concept would have been much more difficult without the ability to print.
Future applications TBRe is thinking ahead. Here are some of the areas they plan to use FDM for their project:
• Circuit boxes and electrical casings
• Aerodynamic surfaces
• Ergonomics, controls and interfaces
• Clips, mounts and brackets
• Prototype linkages
We will be sharing updates and exciting developments from the team as the year progresses and wish them the best of luck from everyone at CREATE Education and our Community.