The Urbee is a 3D Printed Car that Gets 200 Miles per

first_img3D printing has grown in popularity partially because 3D printers have become inexpensive in recent years but also because of how easy it can be to put in raw materials like wood or metal, turn on the “printer” that cuts the pieces or entire product you need out of the material, and come out with a working mechanical device that requires minimal assembly to function. One enterprising design group, led by Stratasys and Kor Ecologic, wanted to use the technology to build a fully-functional automobile that would qualify for the 2010 Automotive X-Prize Competition. The result is the Urbee, an almost entirely-printed vehicle with a hybrid gasoline/ethanol engine under the hood that’s lightweight and can get up to 200 miles per gallon. The key to the Urbee’s design is how easy it is to replicate and produce, and how light the frame is. By eliminating the heavy materials and tooling, you get a lightweight vehicle that’s efficient on the road. It’s unlikely the bubble-shaped Urbee will ever make it to the open road: its futuristic design is a little off-putting and it’s unlikely the lightweight chassis is really road-legal and terribly safe, but Stratasys and Kor Ecologic may be on to something by using 3D printing for manufacturing lightweight and efficient vehicles. AdChoices广告[via Inhabitat]last_img