Once Kor and his team received the full-sized body panels, they fitted them onto Urbee's prototype chassis. Engineers also used the solid plastic 3D-printed window panels as templates for making the glass and plastic windows in Urbee 1. The team used white ABS plastic for the prototype's exterior body, with the addition of some water-soluable grey plastic to support overhanging areas of the white plastic, Kor said.
The team is now tweaking the design and deciding on material choice for Urbee 2, which likely will be some form of recyclable plastic, he said. The team is also considering and learning the CAD processes required to weave two types of materials together similar to how animal bones develop to make the Urbee 2 design even stronger.
Urbee, the first 3D-printed car, is nearly ready for the road. Its inventor Jim Kor, president of KOR EcoLogic, has teamed with Stratasys RedEye On Demand business to 3D print the car’s body out of polymer using the company’s Fused Deposition Modeling process.
(Source: KOR EcoLogic)
One material would be very strong yet brittle, combined with another material that is less strong yet elastic. In animal skeletons, this combination provides very strong yet durable structures. Stratasys 3D printers can print two different materials at the same time, so require no modification to do this interwoven structure.
The aim for Urbee 2 once it's been fabricated is for someone to drive from San Francisco to New York on just 10 gallons of fuel, setting a new world record. While future Urbees hopefully will use biofuel, Urbee 2 will use a gasoline-powered, small combustible engine, but only to power and charge its battery, Hansen said.
Once Urbee 2 has taken to the road, it will set the stage for mass production of the cars using RedEye on Demand's digital manufacturing service.