Formula Group T, a group of Belgian engineering students, is all about racing. The intent behind its latest creation, the Areion (named for a mythological horse that's both immortal and fast), is to change the game in the Formula Student series.

The Areion takes a different approach from other Formula Student cars, as it's been created using using the latest 3D printing technology. The team had automotive fabricator Materialise employ its Mammoth Stereolithography process to create the car's bodywork.

Part of the design was to emulate the exterior texture of advanced Olympic-caliber swimsuits. Those suits, in turn, were inspired by shark skin.

According to Wired, the Areion is motivated by an 85-kilowatt motor getting juice from a 50-volt lithium polymer battery pack. The nimble (617 pounds) formula car can do zero to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) in 3.2 seconds and achieve a top speed of 88 mph. Wired makes a Back to the Future reference in its article, so we don't have to.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      T-Mille
      • 2 Years Ago
      Soon we'll be printing pirated Ferraris off the internet.
      jz78817
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Part of the design was to emulate the exterior texture of advanced Olympic-caliber swimsuits. Those suits, in turn, were inspired by shark skin." both of which have to move through water. Water, of course, is not so much like air.
        meOSU13
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jz78817
        Water and air are fluids with very similar properties. I can totally understand why they'd want to emulate the exterior texture of swimsuits.
        wanderlust
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jz78817
        Guys yes air is a fluid but it is also a gas whereas water is a fluid but ia also a liquid. Water is not easily compressed, air is. They do in fact behave differently moving around solid objects, and have different viscosity's. This is why in fluid dynamics aerodynamics and hydrodynamics are taught separately... I agree with jz on this one.
        Nemebean
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jz78817
        WTF? Since when is air a fluid? Water = fluid. Air = gas. This is grade school science people, try to keep up.
      Kyle
      • 2 Years Ago
      The shark's skin doesn't do anything for rigid bodies. The reason the denticles on a shark help its drag coefficient has to do with the fluid motion of the shark in the water. According to Harvard professor of ichthyology George Lauder, “What we found is that as the shark skin membrane moves, there is a separation of flow. The denticles create a low-pressure zone, called a leading-edge vortex, as the water moves over the skin,” he said. “You can imagine this low-pressure area as ******* you forward. The denticles enhance this leading-edge vortex. So my hypothesis is that these structures that make up shark skin reduce drag, but I also believe them to be thrust-enhancing.” (from popular science) So basically they spend their money on a fancy texture that's not going to help their car one iota.
        kesac
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kyle
        You read one article out of Popular Science, and you think you understand things they have spent a considerable amount of time researching? You don't they are intelligent enough to work the bugs out a bit?
          Kyle
          • 2 Years Ago
          @kesac
          I'm an engineering student also. Just because they're engineers doesn't mean they don't make mistakes.
      • 2 Years Ago
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      • 2 Years Ago
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      scaaaarface
      • 2 Years Ago
      it says the car is a steel spaceframe. Are they talking about just the body shell that is 3d printed?
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      3d printing is something akin to witchcraft. Have you seen the guys who can print food?
      vlady1000
      • 2 Years Ago
      Young people thinking outside the box. That is what gets us to new highs. Not all ideas suceed, but you always learn something no matter the outcome. I rented a house to some Students that were involved with the Univ of Mich Formula and Baja teams. Being a car guy (and an engineer), they showed me what they were doing. Some Ideas were crazy (and they pretty much new that) while others were amazing. But none the less the kids were always thinking how to improve it and having fun trying, and that is what counts.
      • 2 Years Ago
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      Jared Rowe
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not just body panels... we've been doing these for a couple years now... http://www.solidconcepts.com/content/pdfs/literature/application-brief-oakland-university-and-ecole-poly-technique.pdf http://www.solidconcepts.com/content/pdfs/literature/application-brief-oregon-state-teams-up-with-solid-concepts-for-formula-sae-competitions.pdf
      Mike Fischer
      • 2 Years Ago
      3D printing is a remarkably flexible technology. It makes prototyping and manufacturing simpler and more accessible. It alleviates the need for economies of scale. 3D printing allows engineers to design shapes that were not possible before. The technology is incredible and is sure to be a grand success with newer additions from time to time.
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