Car's Whole Body Fabricated on a 3-D Printer
CREDIT: Kor Ecologic
If this car did not look futuristic enough to begin with, note: its body was created using a 3-D printer.
This three-wheeler vehicle, called the Urbee, is the brainchild of Kor Ecologic, a Winnipeg-based engineering group. The Urbee is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that can take either gasoline or ethanol in reaching 100 miles per gallon (160 kilometers per 3.8 liters) in city driving conditions and twice that on the highway.
To give the green car concept some snazziness, Kor Ecologic teamed up with 3-D printing firm Stratasys, based in Minneapolis, Minn.
Stratasys' 3-D printers cranked out all the exterior components, including the sloping glass panels, making the Urbee the first car to have its entire body printed, according to a statement from the companies.
3-D printing , as its name implies, is an additive manufacturing process wherein an object gets built up by adding tiny layer after tiny layer in a specified pattern to form the final, desired shape (think of snow selectively accumulating).
Urbee's makers will show off the prototype at the 2010 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show next week in Las Vegas.
The Urbee also competed in the Progressive Automotive X Prize contest that wrapped in Sept., though it did not place in that super fuel-efficient car challenge.
Check out a video of the Urbee (minus its outer shell) tooling around on a racetrack below.