As of November 2010, you can add a 3D-printed car to that list, too.
The Urbee 2 is a two-wheeled hybrid assembled entirely from parts spat out of 3D printers, reports Wired. Just as Makerbot and Form 1 have changed the way we perceive manufacturing, Urbee is seeking to change the way we build cars.
Urbee is the brainchild of Jim Kor and his team at Kor Ecologic, a company solely dedicated to the future of 3D vehicle manufacturing. Their website expands upon their grand vision for the future of the automobile, a few points of which we’ve listed below.
“Use the least amount of energy possible for every kilometer travelled.
Cause as little pollution as possible during manufacturing, operation, and recycling of the car.
Use materials available as close as possible to where the car is built.”
Kor’s aim is to make the cars of the future light, energy efficient, and easy to manufacture.
The manufacturing process of the Urbee takes place entirely inside RedEye, a 3D printing facility that was also used to produce the world’s first 3D printed motorcycle. Kor says one of the virtues of 3D printing is the added flexibility that’s impossible to produce with sheet metal. Instead of producing a multitude of parts that would assembled later, the 3D printers can spit out a single, unibody part that makes manufacturing a heck of alot easier. Kor simply uploads the models for each part into the printers and 2,500 hours later (that’s something like 105 days), Kor has all the plastic parts he needs to assemble his car.
That’s right, the world’s first 3D printed car is also a plastic car.
Kor has assurances that the Urbee will be perfectly safe to drive out on in the road. “We’re calling it race car safety,” Kor tells Wired, “We want the car to pass the tech inspection required at Le Mans.” And the car isn’t entirely made of plastic. The engine and the base chassis, of course, will be made of steel.
Good luck, Urbee. You may look like an oversized computer mouse, but you’ve come a long way from the days when you looked like this.
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