Winning the World Solar Challenge One Print at a Time

Winning the World Solar Challenge One Print at a Time

Ever heard about solar car races? Read about how a group of Belgian students won the world's most prestigious solar car races with the help of 3D printing.

With the recent upsurge in the sustainability aspect of transportation, EVs (electric vehicles) and solar cars have since become a hot topic. However, while EVs are now at the peak of popularity with brands like Tesla capturing the market, solar cars are a less-known topic, with only one solar car reaching production in December 2022 and was later halted by January 2023.

Since the market was still getting ready for the technology, solar cars these days are often made for the purpose of solar car races like the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, American Solar Challenge, and United Solar Challenge.

The Most Notable Solar Car Race in the World

As the biggest and most prestigious solar car race in the world, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge has been running for over 30 years. Every two years, they'll welcome teams of the world's greatest minds to push the limit and boundaries in the development of solar car designs and creations.

Infinite solar car crossing through the Australian desert

These teams typically consist of tertiary and secondary students cruising through a 3000-kilometer lane from Darwin down to Adelaide in a solar car designed, built, and engineered with their own hands.

Innoptus Solar Team

The Innoptus Solar TeamAfter winning the last World Solar Challenge in 2019, the Belgian team from KU Leuven University is more than ready to go back and reclaim their victory in their 2023 race.

The KU Leuven team has built a brand new solar car every two years to participate in various international solar challenges. Currently, they have dozens of medals and ten solar cars under their belt, with Infinite currently being their spearhead for the 2023 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

Innoptus solar team achievement

As their solar car of the year, the Infinite will be equipped with two new innovations the Innoptus team is developing: An active wheel closure system and a retractable fin. These new features require continuous development, modifications, and rapid prototyping. For this, the Innoptus team recognizes the benefit of 3D printing in their work.

Realizing Dreams One Print at a Time

Getting famliar with the Sonic Mega 8K

After lots of consideration and planning, the Innoptus team acquired the Sonic Mega 8K under their wings as the best 3D printer for prototypes and started experimenting. From creating an accurate scale model and functional prototypes, the Sonic Mega 8K equipped with Phrozen's functional resins can fulfill the Innoptus team's needs for rapid prototypes.

rapid prototyping of the solar car

Other than printing scale models and rapid prototyping designs with the Protowhite Resin, the Innoptus team also utilizes Phrozen's Ultra High Temp TR300 Resin to print a mold and a battery fuse holder.

Twice a Winner, Double the Medal

Innoptus team winning the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2023

Months of trial and error have come to a fruitful end when the Innoptus Team has once again become the winner of the World Solar Challenge. Finishing with 34 hours, 4 minutes, and 41 seconds, the 2023 Innoptus team came 48 minutes faster than their 2019 win.

Not only have they successfully brought home the world title of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Champion, but they've also taken home the innovation prize for their rotating fin that allows the Infinite to move stably with less energy consumption. 

The Innoptus crossing the finish line at first place

Phrozen's involvement in the Innoptus victory has once again proven the benefits of home 3D printing while, at the same time, further emphasizing Phrozen's aim to bring 3D printing to the masses, allowing more and more people to have a take on 3D printing and how it could benefit them. Want to learn more about the Innoptus team? Follow their social media accounts for future updates regarding their races, and check out our Sonic Mega series printers for reliable, multifunctional 3D printers.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.