Heroic Printouts

The Winnipeg Art Gallery has recently hosted this year’s TED Conference. It is organized by a non-profit to disseminate ideas “Worth Spreading”.  TED = Technology, Entertainment, Design. One of the eye and ear catching presentations was from KorEcoLogic on their exciting hybrid car (1). The BBC was there and has published a detailed report (2).

Just in concept, the car is exciting as a two-seater with a 200mpg fuel consumption figure from its combination of batteries and small bio-ethanol engine used to recharge the batteries in addition to solar cells. Speeds of 60 – 70 mph are sufficient for non-freeway use. With a light stainless steel chassis, it should last a long time, and the acceleration might be quite exhilarating.

All that is interesting, but the “just one last thing” piece is that the beautifully streamlined body is printed out on a 3D-printer!

Printing something the size of a sports car is exciting and is the future of a lot of manufacturing. Only the number of units needed for a particular production run have to be printed at the time. Changes can also be made simply by downloading the new design, so re-tooling is minimized. Perhaps, I should make it clear that it is body panels that are printed and not a whole body.

The current plan in Manitoba is to be selling these cars in 2014 at between $10k to $50k. Let’s hope they succeed and get to the lower end of the price range. It will make going to the store a pleasure. I can hardly wait.

  1. http://www.urbee.net/vision/
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15007018

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