In 2017 a team of students of the Colombian public university UNAL won the energy efficiency award during the Hydrocontest, an international student competition dedicated to energy efficiency for marine transportation. And in 2018 they reiterate the achievement winning the lightweight transport innovation prize!
Cesar, who represents the team in 2018, tell us their story and how they use the lab to make the difference.
Technologies used3D printing CNC milling Casting & moulding Electronics Drones
What’s the project story?
The challenge consists of building a marine transportation solution that allows to “transport faster more things consuming less energy”.
The idea to participate in came from Diana López, a mechanical engineering teacher of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, four years ago. She was in contact with a Colombian who worked at Hydros, a Switzerland company that organizes the contest on an annual basis since 2014 in France.
Since then, each year some 15 students of the university studying marine architecture, mechanical design, electronic&control design work on building the most effective ships as possible. I have on-boarded the project as a mechanical engineer since three years ago and I am coordinating the team for the 2018 challenge.
Our goal is to earn the 8 prizes awarded and coveted by the 24 others international universities.
How the workshop was useful to you?
Before to do this project I have never heard about this place because engineering buildings are not closed to architecture one and we were not invited to come through events or courses.
But, a girl of the 2016 team who knew the lab by curiosity told me we could do part of the project there thanks to digital fabrication.
Finally, the lab was very helpful to do the mold of the carbon boat hull with the CNC routers and sensitize us to 3D printing to make camera support.
Now it is more common the lab is used both for this project and the teachers & students of the engineering university department.
What’s the project’s greatest success so far?
First, it was to win the energy efficiency award in 2017.
Then, and it participated in the first success, was to achieve the 4 meters mold with the CNC routers. It required 3 weeks! Due to the big size of the mold compared to the effective working area of the CNC, we had to split the mold into 16 pieces. Saying that it was faster and far less expensive than if we had asked a private company to do it!
What’s your vision for the project & next steps?
Next year we will continue to improve the prototype!
By then, the challenge is in September! We cross the finger!