3D printed carWe all know that a lot of time and work goes into making a car. Individual parts need to be fitted into many other parts to create not only a fast car, but a safe car as well. Furthermore, the traditional car is fashioned out of steel and it’s common knowledge that cars are exceedingly heavy.

In fact, weight is a big factor when deciding how expensive it is to ship a car. So what would you think of a car made completely out of plastic that was created by a 3D printer? It may sound like the creation of a toy car, but today it is actually a reality.

3D Printing is Hot Commodity

As of late 3D printing has been a hot commodity. In fact, the first 3D printed gun fired its first shot this past Sunday. So it’s not that far-fetched to say that a 3D printed car is in the works. The creation is headed by Jim Kor and the car is called the “Urbee.” This car is the first all-plastic design and is built completely by the computer. The original printed prototype was actually unveiled in 2011 at the TEDx conference in Winnepeg. Basically, Kor and his team simply upload the design for a particular part, walk away and wait for the part to be completed. The best aspect of this is that the computer can create a car part that would traditionally be composed of several different parts (for instance a bumper) and instead create it as one complete part.

What Does It Mean?

This not only simplifies the process, but also decreases the weight of the car significantly. In our current economy, gas prices and getting the most miles out of your fuel are hot topics. In fact, TIME magazine reports that by the year 2025 new cars must average 54.5 mpg under a new government-mandated rule. With this it will be advantageous to have a lighter car, and this 3D printed car is set to weigh about 1,100 pounds. With most cars today averaging about 3,500 pounds, this is a huge decrease in weight and a major plus for fuel efficiency.

The car has not yet gone into production, or even been approved to, but just the idea of a 3D printed car should get minds thinking towards the future. For one, we are thinking of how many cars we would be able to ship on one carrier if each car only weighed 1,000 pounds! Kor hopes to get the 3D printed car on the streets in just two years.

IMAGE: Courtesy of de zeen magazine.