B9Creations, a global provider of 3D printing solutions, launched a partnership with the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology’s Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) team to 3D print parts for an off-road vehicle for an annual competition – at which they placed 10th worldwide.

The Baja SAE team is comprised of SD Mines students who design, manufacture, test, and race an off-road vehicle. Each year, the team competes against universities from around the world in multiple events at Baja SAE Competition – including a tech inspection and brake check, a maneuverability hill climb event, and a four-hour endurance race.

Competing against 62 teams, the SD Mines Baja SAE team’s 10th place ranking beat out Texas A&M University, Johns Hopkins University, and Michigan Tech University. The SD Mines Baja SAE team partnered with B9Creations to 3D print several components of the winning competition vehicle, using the company’s Core 5 Series XL 3D printer and its Rugged – Nylon 6 3D printing resin.

“B9Creations’ 3D printing solutions aided in our team’s success at this year’s competition by not only allowing us to cost-effectively prototype critical parts of the vehicle, but by enabling us to create sturdy end-use components as well,” said a student on the SD Mines Baja SAE team.

Featuring low modulus, high elongation, and high impact strength, Rugged – Nylon 6 is tough enough to stand up to the rigors of long-term, real-world use, replacing traditionally injection molded components, making it the ideal material for the project. Rugged – Nylon 6 is well-suited for functional testing, and the Baja SAE team leveraged the material to verify their design for the Baja vehicle’s spline patterns, which require extreme precision to function properly – a level of accuracy the School of Mines’ Baja SAE team discovered could easily be achieved with B9Creations’ Core Series 3D printers.

Aside from prototyped spline inserts, 3D printed parts of the Baja vehicle also include a 4wd activation lever, various spacers and bushings, gas and brake pedals, as well as mounting for electronics.

“We are proud to partner with the School of Mines’ Baja SAE team on this project, and on future projects as well. It’s exciting to see our technology being used in a new way, and we can’t wait to see how the team leverages it to design and build their competition vehicles for years to come,” said B9Creations CEO Shon Anderson.

The Baja SAE team at SD Mines has already begun designing and building next-year’s competition vehicle – with parts 3D printed on the B9 Core Series 3D printer platform.