My car broke – I’ll just print another one

Still waiting for your printer to finish printing the page you asked it for ten minutes ago? Or maybe your printer is fantastically fast? Either way – would your printer be able to print a car?

We don’t mean 2D. We mean a fully three dimensional vehicle.

A team of engineers has managed to create the world’s first printed car – the Urbee.

It took 15 years to make, is a three-wheeler, two-seater, and has a combustion engine in case it runs out of electricity. (It can charge up from sockets, solar panels, or a wind turbine.) Also, it can reach speeds of 70mph.

Instead of printing out layers of ink on paper, the team has printed out an ultra-thin composite material which is then fused together, meaning that the car ends up being made of one whole shell instead of different parts bolted together as is usually the case in standard vehicle manufacture.

Even more impressively, the engineers believe that the layers the car is made of will not break down for at least 30 years – so it will give other ‘normal’ cars a run for their money!

The project leader stated, “Making things this way could revolutionise how we produce things. It has certainly changed my way of thinking about manufacturing.”

We like the sound of it, and it looks quite good. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to arrive in car show rooms any time soon because the engineering team is still building prototypes.

Photo © utrebo via photobucket

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