Oak Ridge National Laboratory has presented a new vehicle which was 3D printed. Its exceptional design is a replica of Shelby Cobra which is made identical to the initial auto. Not can this car boast about the attractive look but also about its powerful engine of electric kind. This auto was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Shelby Cobra. What is more, it is a tribute to the first auto which is a national monument.
Department of Energy was responsible for Shelby printing. The model was created at Oak Ridge National Laboratory by the means of Big Area Additive Manufacturing. This vehicle is a laboratory on wheels which works as plug and play machine. This new Shelby makes it possible to do research and development which are connected with components integrated. Its purpose is to make use of digital manufacturing solutions a lot better. Thus, the automotive industry will benefit from this experiment.
What makes this new replica different from its iconic father? Newly born Shelby was created by the means of huge 3D printer and composite materials of a new generation. It runs on amazing technologies which are used for a vehicle of electric type. The speed of this vehicle is also great. New era Shelby makes it from 0 to 60 less than in five seconds. Engineers have managed to make this technological wonder in six weeks only.
It is true that such details of new Shelby Cobra as chassis were printed by Big Area Additive Manufacturing technology. Shortly BAAM is a machine which can be exclusively found at Oak Ridge Laboratory. This is a 3D printer of industrial size. Its advantage is speed allowing to produce auto parts from 500 to 1000 times faster in comparison to its analogues.
To create every detail of this car 3D blueprint was used along with the latest computer software. Materials were layered one on another in a very thin manner to achieve precise parameters. What is the reason for choosing such method? The answer is simple. 3D printing requires less energy as well as less individual parts to create a vehicle. It makes the process of production cheaper and faster. Cobra is made of carbon fiber, thermoplastic resin as well as other composite materials. So its body is much lighter now. 3D mesh structures are used to make this model even safer.
The most amazing technological aspect of 3D printed Shelby Cobra updated is power electronics. It is a wide bandgap power type which provides energy for the electric motor of 100 kilowatts. Such approach is more efficient in terms of energy. It is more economical as well.