it is the world's first 3D printed supercar.
When it comes to innovative manufacturing, 3D printing is the way forward and now, we are seeing 3D printed cars.
Cars are made from thousands of parts, including some that are incredibly intricate and difficult to make.
This is where 3D printers come in as they can create car parts quickly and accurately. They can also create lighter parts, saving weight and money.
According to experts, the 3D printed car market will be worth $5.3 billion by 2023. This will increase to $12.4 billion in 2028.
As 3D printed cars will become more mainstream, here are 10 of the best you must see.
Blade by Divergent Technologies
The Blade was made by Divergent Technologies and it is the world’s first 3D printed supercar.
The company tests how innovative ways of manufacturing can bring down costs and make more lightweight cars.
Designed by Divergent founder Kevin Czinger, the Blade is made using carbon fibre tubes and 3D printed aluminium rods.
These components are integrated into the chassis.
The result is a lightweight supercar that weighs 619 kilograms, produces 720 bhp and is capable of 200 mph.
LSEV by XEV & Polymaker
Hong Kong design firm XEV and Chinese 3D printing company Polymaker collaborated to make the LSEV.
It is an electric car that is 3D printed, except for the tires, windows, seats and chassis.
As a result, the LSEV weighs just 450 kilograms and has a range of 90 miles, with a top speed of 43 mph.
The LSEV is 3D printed using fused deposition modelling, taking just three days to completely print.
While it appealed to potential buyers, we still have not seen a wide release after the company failed to reach its $500,000 target.
EDAG Light Cocoon
The EDAG Light Cocoon was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015.
This car combines 3D printing and ecological materials.
Its body is 3D printed by the German printing service Robotmech. This is combined with a weatherproof textile outer skin panel.
However, it remains in development.
EDAG hope to fully finish and release the car in around 2025.
This may sound far away, but EDAG is working on a realistic timescale for the amount of innovation and work that is required to build a fully 3D printed car of that power.
This car is the result of a collaboration between Toyota and the International Automotive Research Centre at Clemson University.
While most of the functional parts are made using traditional methods, the interior is 3D printed.
This will allow vehicle owners to customise their car’s interior such as the door trim, air vents and some dashboard elements.
In addition, the uBox has a flat floor, allowing the seats to be moved in different ways.
Toyota plans to service this market with 3D printed car parts and eventually allow customers to 3D print their own car parts from home.
The uBox is also equipped with an electric motor that is powerful enough to charge electronic devices as well as an electrical outlet.
Nanyang Venture 8
Created by students and staff at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the Nanyang Venture 8 contains over 150 3D printed parts.
The team chose to use 3D printing for the car’s body, grille and door latches.
It is able to reach speeds of up to 37 mph but this is not the only car the team has created.
The Nanyang Venture 9 is partially solar-powered. This opens up the possibility of solar-powered cars in the future as well as 3D printed cars.
Based in California, Aptera Motors is dedicated to developing more efficient and safer vehicles, consciously managing the planet’s natural resources.
The Aptera is a solar-powered electric vehicle, so it hardly needs recharging.
Most of the vehicle is 3D printed, reducing the car’s overall weight.
Aptera Motors prioritised weight management as well as aerodynamics and low-resistance cooling with the goal of optimising energy efficiency and thus the vehicle’s range.
This benefitted the car’s performance, allowing it to go from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
The PUV is a 3D printed car that was developed as part of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s AMIE project.
The project looked to see how we use and store energy, with the PUV being equipped with the ability to wirelessly transfer electricity to and from nearby buildings.
In order to save weight and money, the PUV has 3D printed body panels made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic.
It has a top speed of 35 mph and while it only has a range of 35 miles, the fact that it can wirelessly transmit energy makes it a fantastic innovation which we will hopefully see more of in the future.
Project M is another ambitious project.
Made by oil and gas company Shell, Project M is a compact car made from 93 3D printed parts.
It was designed to be as energy-efficient as possible.
As it is 3D printed, it weighs just 550 kilograms.
Using its petrol engine, Project M has a top speed of 97 mph.
Shell chose to use 3D printing as it saved them money, no longer having to outsource production. Instead, they could create plastic parts in-house and quickly.
This shows how effective 3D printing is in reducing the barriers to manufacturing.
Designed by British company Scaled, the Chameleon was created to adapt to the needs of the driver and to environmental requirements.
Scaled felt that 3D printing would be a better option when creating bespoke vehicles.
According to the company, they wanted to move from mass production to mass customisation with additive manufacturing.
The use of 3D printing saved money but the vehicle parts remain robust.
It is an electric car that embodies a range of innovative strategies and philosophies.
The Urbee is actually the first car to be manufactured using additive manufacturing technology.
The car was conceived and produced by Kor Ecologic who partnered with Stratasys.
The project started in 2010 through the initiative of Jim Kor, CEO of the Canadian company, whose aim was to “design the urban vehicle of the future”.
Every car part was 3D printed except for the chassis and engine.
The result is a two-seat, three-wheeled hybrid.
Despite being an innovative creation, it was a time-consuming one, taking a total of 2,500 hours to print.
These are a selection of the best 3D printed cars.
Although these 3D printed cars exude innovation, one is yet to hit the streets.
But as more are designed, expect to see them on the roads in the future.