Simply Science: 3D printing and the URBEE 2 car

6:51 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - When we click print, we expect paper with ink as the result but here at "RedEye On Demand" in Eden Prairie -- you get something much different. It's called 3D printing. A computer design is uploaded and the machine determines a path to build the object.

Jeff Hanson of "RedEye on Demand" says, "this technology that I'm standing next to is an extrusion process that takes a plastic, the same plastic that we see in everyday products, and extrudes it, and builds it up layer by layer by layer."
In this case, those layers add up to an automotive bumper to make the world's most energy efficient car, the URBEE 2.
"It's extremely aerodynamic, it's extremely light and it only carries two people and a dog'" the car's development team leader," Jim Kor, says with a smile.

A traditional car is made from thousands of parts, but the URBEE 2 will have just 40.

"Those 40 pieces make up everything you see and touch on the car. Everything on the outside, everything on the inside, will be made out of this machine," explained Kor.

For efficiency, the URBEE 2 team cut out every part or a car they deemed unnecessary, including the fourth wheel and the back seat.

Kor elaborates, "this isn't the car for everybody, but if you don't use your rear seat, then you're using energy to bring that empty seat along with you all the time, so that get's nuked... you see?"
When completed, the URBEE 2 hopes to drive from New York to Los Angeles on just 10 gallons of biofuel, two people and a dog... all by clicking print!

The URBEE 2 car is targeted to hit the streets in two years after meeting all the safety and road standards and is able to reach speeds of 70 mph.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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