3D Printed Cars – Can they be mass produced?

We have heard reports about fully 3D printed concept cars making their appearance in major exhibitions and 3D printing events. Now, it seems the day is not far when we can see the 3D printed cars zooming next to us on the roads.

Major car manufacturers like Daimler and Ford are already trying to use 3D printing for prototyping car parts. Now a promising new 3D printed light weight car called Urbee is on the block.

A few years ago, KOR EcoLogic president Jim Kor unveiled Urbee, his vision for the future of energy-efficient cars that can be manufactured digitally. Urbee, was planned to be two-person car, a lightweight hybrid made of recyclable plastic and capable of reaching a speed of 70 mph running with a combination of electricity, and a biofuel like 100-percent ethanol.

KOR EcoLogic has partnered with Stratasys’s RedEye On Demand 3D printing business to fabricate a lightweight electric car that be on to the streets in about two years. The collaboration has successfully printed an Urbee prototype, Urbee 1, using Stratasys’s Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process.

The crucial body parts for Urbee were first developed as CAD files, and then printed using Stratasys’s RedEye on Demand service for rapid prototyping of the large exterior panels required to build a car. Amazing detail can be built into the 3D printed part, along with amazing accuracy, and the part starts out in the form of a continuous roll of plastic of round cross section. In this way, the FDM 3D printers tirelessly make parts, without any human intervention required from start to finish. Sounds interesting? Let’s wait for 2 more years then.

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