Michael Vollmer is a freelance designer from Hamburg, Germany, who specializes in RC cars. In between his assignments for well-known RC car manufacturers, Vollmer works on his own innovative ideas and cool projects, and he sells them at the 3DRC Shapeways shop.
3DRC makes high performance parts — on-road parts, off-road parts, tools, and even vintage car upgrades — for top-level RC car racing. There’s a lot of buzz lately about 3DRC in the professional RC racing community, with publications, big RC news websites, factory-backed drivers getting on the 3DRC team, and new product releases. So we thought it was a good time to sit down with Michael and see what 3DRC is all about.
3D Printing and Industry 4.0
So we asked Vollmer: Why Shapeways? He said:
“As a RC car designer, I have often used 3D printing to check the function and feeling of new parts.
Ten years ago, they came in very brittle, sometimes breaking quickly while I trying to assemble the parts. Today the material precision and quality is much better.
I had my first contact with Shapeways a few years ago, when I had to check some parts that would later become plastic parts for traditional injection-molding machines. I was really surprised by the quality and the material. The precision was excellent! So it really helped me to make prototypes for pre-production RC Cars.
Apart from the great quality, the fast manufacturing and the fantastic service, I learned to understand the Shapeways shop system, which is absolutely amazing! After Amazon, eBay, PayPal, it might be the most important platform for Industry 4.0.”
Shapeways allows Vollmer to create, upload, and sell new products within a very short timeframe: only a few days from prototype to the 3DRC shop. With traditional manufacturing methods, this process can take months.
3DRC’s most popular product: Fan Boosters
The electric motor on a RC car can get very hot, especially when being pushed to its absolute limit in the professional racing series, so most racers use a cooling fan to prevent overheating and permanently damaging the motor.
3RDC Fan Boosters are designed to channel air from the fan to the motor covering more surface area and with less loss of airflow, therefore cooling more efficiently.
They are very easy to install, and come in different shapes and sizes to match any cooling fan to any chassis type. Fan boosters are especially popular for stock-class touring car racing, but 3DRC is developing models for other racing classes as well.
3DRC’s Latest: Aero Wings
The Aero Wing series from 3DRC are spoilers for RC touring cars inspired by full-size Formula 1 cars. Compared to the traditional one-piece vacuum-formed polycarbonate spoilers, 3DRC’s Aero Wings create more downforce while having less drag.
Some of the best RC car drivers on the planet are testing multiple wing profiles for the Aero Wing, and initial feedback has been great. Drivers say that they love the Shapeways Black Strong and Flexible Plastic. We are looking forward to see the results from the 3DRC team drivers and hope they can win some races.
You can find many more 3DRC products on the 3DRC Shapeways shop.