Can you imagine a 3D printed car on the road?!
A joint venture between the Chinese Polymaker company and the Italian-based manufacturer X Electrical Vehicle are in the process of making a 3D car.
The car is a Smart-sized model called the LSEV that’s made almost entirely using 3D-printing technology.
A few components of the car still have to be made by conventional methods, such as the chassis, the windows and the tires, but the vast majority of the car is made by 3D printing.
Although it would probably be easier, quicker and cheaper at the moment to use conventional production methods, the real point of 3D printing is that it dramatically reduces the amount of waste material produced during the production process. This has led the boss of Polymaker, Xiaofan Luo, to predict that the project will “inspire more [car] companies to adopt 3D printing.”
In this particular case the number of plastic parts was just 57, compared to the 2,000 it would have taken if conventional manufacturing methods were used.
It took just three days to produce the prototype, XEV intends to build around 500 of them each year.
They are will probably sell for around $20,000.