Well, not exactly an *entire car* – but just its body. The Urbee was an entrant to Progressive Insurance’s Automotive X-Prize. The competition has now closed and Urbee ended up ranked “in the top 30 in the world” according to a recent press release. What’s so interesting about this to us? The car’s body, including the glass panels, was entirely produced on a 3D printer from Stratasys, perhaps the first time this has ever been done.
The X-prize offered rewards totally USD$10M to be split among three winners, who have been announced. The winner was the 100mpg+ ethanol-based “Very Light Car” from Edison2 LLC of Charlottesville Virginia, who came away with a cool USD$5M. One of the other two winners achieved the remarkable feat of 197mpg!
It appears, however, that the Urbee is still under construction and is expected to be operational in March 2011. According to Urbee:
the car is not yet running at this time. Only three body panels are in place, but these highlight the unique approach taken in designing and building this car (from clay sculpture, to scanning by Tebis, aerodynamic simulation by CD-Adapco, and direct digital manufacturing by Stratasys/Redeye).
This vehicle will be displayed at this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas, and will be joined by a 1/6-size model in Stratasys’s booth.
Will 3D-printed cars become the norm? Likely not for mass production, as it would be prohibitively expensive to do so. However, if it ever came to be that consumers could somehow choose their own styling or sizing, one-of-a-kind 3D printed cars might be the right approach. But it would still be fantastically expensive.
Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!
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Welcome to Fabbaloo, one of the world’s oldest online news sources for 3D printing news. We’ve been in operation since 2007, where we first started examining the state of 3D printers. These devices are now relatively common among some circles in today’s world, but years ago it was extremely rare to see a 3D printer or even a 3D printed object.
At that time it was challenging to find any 3D printing news, so we decided to make our own site that covered 3D printer news, and even associated technologies like 3D scanning and 3D modeling. Today it is common to find 3D printers in schools, workshops and makerspaces, and you probably have been using 3D printed objects without even knowing they were 3D printed.
Today’s industry has finally taken up the challenge by installing thousands of industrial 3D printers, each producing previously impossible 3D printed parts that make today’s society far more efficient. The aerospace industry in particular has been producing many 3D printed parts, some even for flight critical purposes.
If you want to learn about 3D printers, then there’s no better place than Fabbaloo’s 3D printer news to see the latest happenings.
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