Here comes your new car! It’s not only 3D printed — it’s electric — and you can check it out later this month at EuroMold 2014.
Stratasys will be featuring the StreetScooter C16 November 25th-28th at their display at EuroMold in Frankfurt, Germany. For the StreetScooter electric car, Aachen University employed a Stratasys Objet1000 3D Production System to build the fully functional electric car — meant to go short distances — in just 12 months. The 3D Production System’s huge 1000 x 800 x 500 mm (39.3 x 31.4 x 19.5 in) build tray allowed components up to a meter in length to be printed.
StreetScooter’s mission was to design and manufacture a realistic electric car that could compete in affordability and usability with conventional cars. StreetScooter is a very unusual project headed by a group of university professors and leading automotive suppliers, ultimately bringing together more than 80 companies in the development of what looks to be the perfect city vehicle due to its size and efficiency, and is sure to garner a great deal of attention at EuroMold.
The StreetScooter team and Aachen University had employed the technology of 3D printing early on in their development phases for initial prototype components for a model of the StreetScooter that is a delivery van for Deutsche Post AG and currently being used.
“With the advanced multi-material 3D printing technology available to us from Stratasys, vehicles can be easily customized for specific customers, enabling us to design on-the-fly,” says Achim Kampker, Professor of Production Management in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Aachen University. “These cars can be developed from scratch and ready in a matter of months, not years, as with traditional automotive production processes. The StreetScooter project has demonstrated to us how a whole new approach to car design and manufacturing is possible with 3D printing.”
With everyone delegated to different aspects of design and development, Stratasys played a lead role, with the large format Objet1000 Multi-Material 3D Production System being responsible for all its exterior parts, including:
- Large front and back panels
- Door panels
- Bumper systems
- Side skirts
- Wheel arches
- Lamp masks
- Several interior components such as the retainer instrument board
Due to Stratasys’ tough Digital ABS material, the team was able to construct an extremely durable prototype that could endure testing conditions that would be typical for a conventional car.
“The Objet1000 is the largest multi-material 3D Production System on the market and Aachen University was the first university in the world to have one,” says Professor Kampker. “Being able to use it in the development of large and small parts for StreetScooter was exciting in itself, but the contribution the 3D printed parts made to the construction of the car was enormous.”
“The ability to produce full-scale prototypes that perform like the final parts, accelerated testing and design verification, enabling us to bring to market a prototype electric car in just 12 months – something that is just unimaginable with traditional manufacturing.”
Models vary, but the StreetScooter C16 usually has the typical specifications:
- Weight of 450kg – (or 1000 lbs.)
- Range of 100km (or 80 miles) minimum, and delivers a top speed of 100km/h (or 60mph), making it an ideal city vehicle.
What do you think of the latest trends in 3D printing in the automotive industry? Do you have any ideas for 3D printed car parts? Tell us about it in the StreetScooter C16 forum over at 3DPB.com.
Established in 2010 as a spin-off from RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany-based StreetScooter GmbH is a designer and developer of short-distance, urban e-vehicles. They design e-bikes, small passenger cars, and commercial vehicles.