The First 3D Printed Car Optimizes Design for Renewable Energy
How do you design the most efficient car on the road that can run on renewable energy? You prototype, a lot, with 3D printing.
That is what KOR EcoLogic did using Autodesk software and Stratasys’ digital manufacturing service. The car, called Urbee, gets 200 miles per gallon.
“The Urbee was designed from the ground up to be as efficient as possible, and to run on renewable energy,” said Jim Kor, president and chief technology officer of KOR EcoLogic. “From concept through rendering, Autodesk software helped us not only build an efficient and sustainable car, but also communicate our designs to a broader audience, including potential investors.”
Urbee is truly the first car to have its entire body 3D printed.
The KOR EcoLogic team began by developing a set of core principles and pinning them to their workshop wall. Among them, the Urbee was designed to use minimal energy and produce less pollution during its design, manufacturing, operation and recycling stages, while remaining affordable and visually appealing.
“Startup clean tech companies need technology enabling them to create professional, fully realized and tested designs, while benefiting from visually stunning imagery of their products,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Autodesk Manufacturing Industry Group. “KOR EcoLogic is a great example of the combined power of Digital Prototyping and sustainable design.”
The Urbee team used Autodesk Inventor software to design a 3D digital prototype of the car’s body and subject it to simulated road and wind conditions, test different body designs to minimize drag and reduce overall weight by eliminating excess parts. More than 80 percent of a product’s environmental impact can be determined during the design phase, making Inventor a critical component in establishing the Urbee’s high level of environmental responsibility. KOR EcoLogic used Autodesk Showcase 3D visualization software to create photorealistic renderings of the Urbee for marketing to potential investors, partners and the general public.
Below is a video of the Urbee on a test drive.