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Urbee 2 Hybrid is Strong, Light 3D-Printed Car


3d-printed-urbeeThe Urbee 2 is a futuristic 3D-printed car with three wheels and a hybrid engine and also features top speeds of 110 mph with a carrying capacity of 1,200 lbs. The car was created by Jim Kor with the aim of redefining modern vehicular transportation with sustainability.

Made with ABS plastic, this allows for minimum drag, thus reducing the amount of fuel needed to power the car. The material is also stronger and can be manipulated more easily than steel. The Urbee 2 can carry a maximum of two passengers.

Jim Kor has a long history of building sustainable vehicles, as the founder of Kor Ecologic has designed sustainable buses and tractors and has now shifted to focus on commercial transporters. Together with 3D printing company RedEye, the team built the Urbee using ABS plastic with a process known as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) to make as accurate a representation of the body as possible, to also make it as strong as regular cars.

The 3D printers are capable of spraying up to microscopic level, with the whole automated process for one car taking about 2,500 hours. The one-piece construction means nuts, bolts and other connectors are unnecessary, and the result is a lighter vehicle with coefficient of drag of 0.15, that means that less fuel is need to power the car.

However, both the chassis and the engine will be metallic with a 10 horsepower maximum for the engine planned. Driving in the city which would need speeds of about 40 mph maximum will be driven by the 36 V electric motor while higher speeds will make use of a diesel engine which will likely be fueled with ethanol. Safety features of the car will be up to the Le Mans standard, with an internal metal roll cage like in NASCAR vehicles.

The designers expect that most countries would register the Urbee as a motorbike considering the size and weight. Presently, the car is being tested using crash simulation software to refine its safety, with the team waiting for additional funding to complete the tests.

With 14 $50,000 orders already, the lead engineer hopes that when additional funds come in, the latest prototype of the Urbee would go on a cross country tour using 10 gallons of ethanol. The team is hoping to involve Guinness to increase publicity in their bid redefine modern transportation.

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