By Brian Krassenstein | 3D Print
Growing up, my favorite toy by far was a little red remote control car that my parents bought me for my 7th birthday. The miniature vehicle lasted about a year before I accidentally drove it off the staircase in our home. I unfortunately had to watch the parts of the vehicle crumble under their own weight on the hardwood floor below. To this day, I still have a fascination with RC vehicles, and one day when I have children of my own, I will have an excuse to purchase another.
What I remember most about my toy car was the fact that the batteries were always running out, meaning I had to pester my parents to purchase new ones. I eventually found myself feeling guilty, even at 7 years old, about playing with the car too much, and wished that the vehicle could work without battery power.
Here we are 25 years later, and such a car finally exists. Best of all it’s 3D printed. A team of three men, Max Greenberg, Sameer Yeleswarapu and Ian Cullimore, have designed and created what they call The Cirin, a remote control car which is powered by elastic energy.
“We focused on creating a vehicle that would combine all of our past engineering education with the sculpture and industrial design skills we have acquired at art center,” stated Greenberg. “We drew inspiration from mid 1950’s formula 1 cars as well as the truss structures found inside the bones of a birds wing. these structure are both light and rigid, ideal properties for the car we wanted to design.”
The Cirin is a sleek looking vehicle, whose frame is entirely 3D printed by a company called Solid Concepts. It was printed using a selective laser sintering machine, in a single piece with nylon powder. By using 3D printing within the production of this car, the team was able to create a frame which is aerodynamic, light, strong (this car probably won’t break should it fall off a staircase) and a pleasure to look at. The design is biologically inspired and was arranged using SolidWorks.
The power to propel the vehicle comes by way of a giant 16-foot long elastic band, which is contained within a carbon fiber tube and is wound up using a power tool. The car isn’t absent of battery power all together, with batteries powering the braking system, steering, and its WiFi connectivity. It is able to travel approximately 500 feet once wound up.
What makes The Cirin even more incredible is the speed at which it can achieve using its elastic energy system. Greenberg and his team have clocked the car traveling at 30 miles per hour, making it quite speedy even for a gasoline or battery powered RC car.
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