This 3D Printed High-Performance Racecar Is Powered By Rubber Bands


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Photo: Max Greenberg
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Almost all of us played with the cars powered with rubber band when we were young.We bet, none of them was as cool as Cirin. Cirin is a mid-1950s Formula 1 car based mini racecar, featuring state-of-the-art construction and design. It is powered by 16 ft (5 m) of looped elastic material that can make it travel for 500 ft (152 m) at the amazing speed of 30 mph (48 km/h).

Photo: Max Greenberg
Photo Credits: Max Greenberg

Max Greenberg, Sameer Yeleswarapu, and Ian Cullimore from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California have designed this amazing mini racer for their school’s annual event Formula E Race. It was an international event where various teams participated to present their amazing rubber band-powered miniature cars. Who won the race? We are pretty sure that you have already guessed the name!

Photo: Max Greenberg
Photo Credits: Max Greenberg

Ciren was completely designed using a mechanical software called SolidWorks after simulating several prototypes. The fabrication of the final model was done using 3D printing technology by a company called SolidConcepts. They used laser sintering to melt successive layers of nylon powder to yield the final shape.

Photo: Max Greenberg
Photo Credits: Max Greenberg

The creators say that the design is inspired by a “bio-truss” structure, which is commonly seen in birds’ wing bones. The structure is known for its high strength-to-weight ratio. Thus, this car can withstand high torsional stresses applied by the rubber band. Moreover, lack of any major fastener makes it strong and durable.

Photo: Max Greenberg
Photo Credits: Max Greenberg

Cirin is powered using single elastic band wound into 8-inch (203-mm) loop. This loop runs within a carbon fiber tube and the two eye bolts. The first bolt is located at the car’s nose, and the other in the geared drive mechanism at the rear axle. That rubber band has to be manually wound by replacing the nose cone, and it is then held tight until it is released by a servo motor.

Photo: Max Greenberg

Photo Credits: Max Greenberg

A second servo motor is used to steer the system, which is controlled by radio remote control. Cirin’s cost is reported to be a whopping US$500, and this is without the 3D printing donation by SolidConcepts.

Photo: Max Greenberg
Photo Credits: Max Greenberg

This racecar has definitely been added to my wishlist! What about you? Let us know in the comments’ section below!

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