3/26/2013 | 1 MINUTE READ

Driving Change, Layer by Layer

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

A vehicle currently in development will not only have a body produced entirely via additive manufacturing processes, but also promises to break new ground in fuel efficiency.

Share

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon
�

The idea of an environmentally friendly car that is also affordable, practical and capable of being produced with real-world technology might seem far-fetched. However, if all goes according to plan, Jim Kor and his team at Kor Ecologic could do a great deal to lay that view to rest—and additive manufacturing technology is playing a critical role in their efforts.

In 2011, this small company in Winnipeg, Manitoba unveiled the Urbee (urban electric with ethanol as backup), a two-seater hybrid-electric vehicle. Just a few weeks ago, the firm announced that it and its partners—Red Eye on Demand, a rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing service, and Red Eye's parent company, additive manufacturing technology supplier Stratasys—had started development of the next-generation Urbee 2, which promises to take the concepts behind the original to a higher level.

What's special about the Urbee? For one, it's fuel-efficient. The plan is to set a new world record by driving from San Francisco to New York on only 10 gallons of biofuel. It will also be no slower than the average vehicle, with highway speeds of 70 mph. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it will have a relatively simple design. Whereas typical cars contain hundreds of parts, only 40 comprise the Urbee, and the entire car body will be produced via fused deposition modeling on Stratasys machines. "Product design is nearly unencumbered by considerations on how parts can be made with digital manufacturing," Mr. Kor says. "That liberation is incredibly powerful and holds a lot of potential for the future of manufacturing."
 

RELATED CONTENT

  • Video: Additive/Subtractive Machining Cycle

    DMG Mori produced the part seen in this video to demonstrate the capabilities of its new hybrid machine, which is capable of both CNC machining and additive manufacturing through laser metal deposition.

  • 3D Printing As an Alternative to Patternmaking

    Hoosier Pattern has changed its business in a way that dramatically expands the design freedom available to its customers. Historically, the company has machined foundry patterns. Today, it uses 3D printing to create molds and cores directly from sand.

  • Amerimold Workshop: Direct Metal Laser Sintering

     Laser sintering is an additive process that deposited metals, such as Titanium, to create complex machinable workpiece blanks.


Resources