The 3D printed car, Urbee of KOR EcoLogic has been on the scene for four years now and has gone through several changes. Initially entered into the Automotive X-Prize competition in 2009., there was very little mention of 3D printing in the initial designs, fast forward to 2013 and it is now billed as “The World’s first 3D Printed car”. So how did the Urbee evolve?
It wasn’t until late 2010 when they unveiled the first prototype did we learn that the body was entirely 3D printed on a Stratasys machine, previously that year Gordon Murray had announced his T.25 City car the interior of which was entirely 3D printed again using a Stratasys Fortus machine, but this was the whole body, glass, metal and all, built using additive manufacturing.
Stratasys are obviously very keen to get a 3D car to market after the first Urbee prototype was unveiled in 2010 their digital manufacturing service RedEye On Demand became the development partner for Urbee. The partnership unwrapped a full-scale model at SEMA in Las Vegas in November 2010.
The widespread, positive publicity the Urbee received after the show meant that the wheels of the project kept on rolling, and now we have a fully formed car, the Urbee 2. Creator of the Urbee Jim Kor said, “With the Urbee 1 project, I learned that product design is nearly unencumbered by considerations on how parts can be made with digital manufacturing. That liberation is incredibly powerful and holds a lot of potential for the future of manufacturing.”
In today’s press release, in which Stratasys and RedEye On Demand announced their continuing partnership with KOR EcoLogic right through to the production process, it is claimed we’ll see the Urbee 2 on the road in as little as two years time. Vice President of RedEye On Demand Jim Bartel says, “Jim Kor and his team at KOR EcoLogic had a vision for a more fuel-efficient car that would change how the world approaches manufacturing and today we’re achieving it. URBEE 2 shows the manufacturing world that anything really is possible. There are few design challenges additive manufacturing capabilities can’t solve.”