The Next Generation Of Urban Runabouts: 3-D Printed Car
Jim Kor, designer of tractors, buses, even commercial swimming pools, is in addition head of Kor Ecologic, the firm responsible for the 3D printed creation. His last creation, light, cheap and highly efficient automobile called the Urbee 2 has been produced with the help of the 3-D plastic-spraying printer. The three-wheel, two-passenger vehicle was built at RedEye, an on-demand 3-D printing facility, which creates ABS plasticfor the car body via Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The whole car is about 10 feet long and takes about 2,500 hours to make. Kor claims, “The thesis we’re following is to take small parts from a big car and make them single large pieces. By using one piece instead of many, the car loses weight and gets reduced rolling resistance, and with fewer spaces between parts, the Urbee ends up being exceptionally aerodynamic.” Of course not all of the car is printed plastic — the engine and base chassis are metal. The prototype will feature a hybrid engine that will produce a maximum of 10 horsepower. Most of the driving – from zero to 40 mph – will be done by the 36-volt electric motor, when it gets up to highway speeds, the engine will tap the fuel tank to power a diesel engine. Regarding the car safety, the design presupposes a tubular metal cage around the driver, besides Urbee will pass the tech inspection required at Le Mans. The estimated value of the original Urbee prototype is about $50,000.