World First: 3D-Printed Car
Canadian engineer Jim Kor is revolutionising vehicle manufacturing with the launch of his “hyper-efficient” 3D three-wheeled printed car, the Urbee 2. Weighing just 545kg it is super-light and consequently incredibly fuel-efficient.
Most parts of the Urbee are printed in plastic, apart from its metal engine and chassis. Printing means parts can be made to exact and complex specifications, and each piece is far lighter than regular metal auto components, but just as resilient. In total, the Urbee takes around 2,500 hours (about three months) to print.
3D printing has recently hit the mainstream, and is now becoming a force to disrupt conventional manufacturing methods. In the future, 3D printing could allow for global businesses to contradict current manufacturing processes by manufacturing on a smaller scale across the world rather than shipping goods from a centralised factory.
For more on the influence and future of 3D printing, read the Stylus report 3D Printing: From Gimmick to Game Changer.