Case Study: Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is a unique event that sees some 40 teams from around the world travel a 3000km journey across the Australian desert (between Darwin and Adelaide) in handmade state-of-the-art solar cars. Teams are challenged to push the boundaries of their imagination in order to develop highly sophisticated technological marvels which, over the nearly 30 years that the challenge has been running, have led to substantial improvements in the areas of vehicle structural design, aerodynamics, as well as solar and motor efficiency. With cars that rely nearly entirely on custom built components to achieve the most desired shape, with the lightest weight possible and without compromising strength, it is no wonder that 3D printing is becoming a fundamental manufacturing tool the production of both prototypes and end use parts for more and more solar car racing teams.

3D printer in the desert

At 3DSL, we could not be more proud to collaborate with one of the top solar car racing teams in the world, Brisbane-based Clenergy Team Arrow, to give them edge through the use of our 3D printing technology. Clenergy Team Arrow boast a number of awards including the ISF Achievement Award for the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

With the collaboration between 3DSL and Clenergy Team Arrow kicking off in mid-2015, 3D Printing played a significant role in Clenergy Team Arrow’s 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The versatility of the 3D printing technology made it perfect to produce customised parts, which could be tested, adjusted if necessary, and reprinted, all in a matter of hours. On top of being used for the creation of a number of components within the Arrow 1 solar car, 3D printing furthermore demonstrated its versatility during the entire duration of the 3000 km race, undertaking emergency repairs in the harsh and isolated Australian desert environment without hassle.

With new advancements in technology opening the doors to even more complex designs, it is exciting to consider how much of an impact 3D printing will continue to make in the world of competitive solar car racing. We are excited to continue providing our expertise in this fascinating area and look forward to supporting the 30 year anniversary of the Bridgestone Solar World Challenge in 2017.

Check out some of the photos from the event:

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

3D printed part

3D printed part