The highlight of the show was the drag racing competition; the inaugural Print-a-Car challenge, hosted by Quantum Victoria, which my 3D Printing students at Preshil Senior School entered and won! As you can see in the video, the cars set a cracking pace on Quantum's F1 track. Our car clocked just 0.702 of a second from start to finish, so even a moment's distraction could mean that spectators missed a race entirely. The car had to be entirely 3D printed, except for the axles, which could be made of metal and lubricated. It has the Preshil eagle emblazoned on each side of the bullet-shaped fuselage and three of the students in the team (whom we scanned) printed at the front, riding it to glory. With another few days to prepare we could have made sure they has all their limbs.
Each car was powered by a small cannister of highly compressed nitrogen gas, which was released when a solenoid-operated spike pierced the end of it, thrusting the vehicle forward. According to the guys at Quantum, the vehicles reach their top speed about a metre from the starting line and then simply coast the rest of the way to the finish. The cars are attached to the track with nylon line, so, despite the huge amount of energy coming out of those cannisters, the whole affair is quite safe. However, some people had to be persuaded not to put their hands on or near the track around drag time.
Preshil are now the proud owners of a new UP Mini, which is sure to get a long-awaited and thorough hammering by the students.
UPDATE: 3D Printing Today have published a video on the event that we feature in fairly heavily: