Need A New Car? Why Not Print One Out?

Okay, we’ll we aren’t quite there yet, but news this week that Jim Kor, a professional engineer and his team of volunteers, are working on a follow up to their Urbee 3D printed car concept, with an Urbee 2. The 10ft long vehicle takes about 2,500 hours to print and has a curb weight of about 1,200 pounds.

Part of the vision of the three wheeled Urbee car is to use the least amount of energy possible for every kilometre traveled and to cause as little pollution as possible during manufacturing, operation and recycling of the car.

The production process, at a basic level, involves uploading the design of the component parts into a computer at a 3D printing facility.  The printers then spray molten polymer, layer by layer until the parts are complete. The entire vehicle will not be all plastic of course, the engine and the base chassis will be metal.

The following is a video of the car going for a test drive on a public road.

According to Wired, who sat down with Jim Kor, the vehicle will have a hybrid electric engine, with the current engine in the prototype puts out a maximum of 10 hp. Most of the driving will be powered by an electric motor however.

In many jurisdictions the vehicle will actually be registered as a motorcycle rather than a car, as with three wheels and a curb weight of less than 1,200 pounds it has more in common with a motorcycle.

The original Urbee prototype had an estimated cost of around $50,00, which isn’t bad for a prototype. No word yet on the costs for the Urbee 2, although 14 people have already committed to purchasing one, mostly from people working on the design team.

Source: Wired