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Stratasys is development partner on ‘Urbee’ hybrid – the first car to have entire body 3D printed

04 November 2010

Stratasys has announced a development partnership with Winnipeg engineering group, Kor Ecologic, which is creating one of the world’s most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles. Code-named, Urbee, it is the first car ever to have its entire body 3D printed by additive manufacturing processes. The electric/liquid-fuel hybrid reaches more than 200 mpg, highway and 100 mpg, city (US gallons) with either gasoline or ethanol.

The car is charged overnight for just pennies from any standard home electrical outlet. Alternately, it can be charged by renewable energy from a windmill or a solar-panel array small enough to fit on top a single-car garage. For combined city and highway use, the Urbee gets about 150 mpg and costs only 2 cents per mile. This is only about 10 percent of the fuel consumed by a typical SUV. And on the highway, it costs about 1 cent per mile, or 95 percent less than that same SUV.

“Other hybrids on the road today were developed by applying ‘green’ standards to traditional vehicle formats, says Jim Kor, president and chief technology officer, Kor Ecologic. “Urbee was designed with environmentally sustainable principles dictating every step of its design.
 
“Urbee is the only practical car we’re aware of that can run solely on renewable energy,” says Kor. “Our goal in designing it was to be as ‘green’ as possible throughout the design and manufacturing processes. FDM technology from Stratasys has been central to meeting that objective. FDM lets us eliminate tooling, machining, and handwork, and it brings incredible efficiency when a design change is needed. If you can get to a pilot run without any tooling, you have advantages.”
 
Urbee is the first prototype car ever to have its entire body 3D printed with an additive process. All exterior components – including the glass panel prototypes – were created using Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus 3D Production Systems at Stratasys’ digital manufacturing service – RedEye on Demand.
 
The Urbee competed in the 2010 X-Prize Competition, and its development has been chronicled by the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet, for future broadcast. A full-scale Urbee prototype will be displayed for the first time in the U.S. at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nov. 2-5 at technology partner, Tebis, booth number 10204. A 1/6 scale finished model will be displayed at the Stratasys booth number 23821.
 
Urbee is just one example of FDM being used for ecologically friendly initiatives. In the UK, Gordon Murray Design, used Fortus 3D Production Systems to help create its avant-garde T.25 city ‘eco car,’ which was unveiled back in July. For the DPA online story, click here.
 


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