Sask Polytech eco car nabs innovation award at Eco-Marathon 2022
By DE StaffAdditive Manufacturing Automotive
Engineering students’ hyper-fuel efficient car features 3D printed body and recycled hockey stick frame.
The annual event pits student teams from engineering schools around the world to design, build and drive hyper-energy efficient vehicles to see which travels the farthest on a limited amount of energy – be it gasoline, electricity or an alternative fuel. By optimizing weight, aerodynamics and engine efficiency, winning teams in the prototype internal combustion engine competition, for example, commonly attain efficiencies north of 1,000 mpg.
A regular competitor since 2018, the Saskatchewan Polytech team entered two vehicles this year: An electric vehicle in the Prototype category and a gas burner in the Urban Concept category. While the Prototype vehicles weren’t able to compete due to bad weather, the Sask Eco UC team’s Urban Concept vehicle did take home fourth place with a showing of 372mpg (158km/l).
However, the team did win the off-track Technical Innovation Award for “demonstrating outstanding technical ingenuity along with optimal use of new materials, components, methodology or inventions.”
Eco-Marathon judges highlighted the 3D printed body of the team’s Urban Concept car, composed of a recyclable plastic filament with a temperature-triggered, active-foaming technology that reduces part weight to one third of traditional 3D printed parts. And, in a particularly Canadian touch, the frame of both Saskatchewan Polytech vehicles were built from recycled carbon fiber hockey sticks.
“I’m very proud of both of our student teams and their accomplishments,” says Tim Muench, program head for the Design and Manufacturing Engineering Technology program. “Throughout the competition students learn new technical skills, teamwork and how to work under pressure.”