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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First road car produced with a 3D printer

A prototype for an electric vehicle -- code named Urbee -- is the first to have its entire body built with a 3D printer.

Stratasys and Winnipeg engineering group Kor Ecologic have partnered to create the electric/liquid fuel hybrid, which can deliver more than 200 miles per gallon on the motorway and 100 miles per gallon in the city.

The two-passenger hybrid aims to be fuel efficient, easy to repair, safe to drive and inexpensive to own.

All exterior components -- including the glass panel prototypes -- were created using Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus 3D Production Systems at Stratasys’ digital manufacturing service -- RedEye on Demand.

“Other hybrids on the road today were developed by applying ‘green’ standards to traditional vehicle formats," says Jim Kor, president and chief technology officer, Kor Ecologic. “Urbee was designed with environmentally sustainable principles dictating every step of its design."

The 3D printing technology eliminates tooling, machining and handiwork, creating great efficiencies when a design change is needed. The same technology has been used in the UK by Gordon Murray Design to help create the avant-garde T.25 city “eco-car” which was unveiled in July.

A full-scale Urbee prototype will be displayed for the first time in the US at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.


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