World's first mass-produced, 3D-printed car is electric, looks cool and costs under $10K

Three-dimensional printed cars will soon find their way to driveways and cul-de-sacs all across the world as the first mass-produced vehicle of its kind aims to revolutionize the auto industry.

3D-printed car.

Image via Polymaker.

Cars are a pretty big investment. They are also quite necessary for some and quite desirable for others. So why not keep the second part but drop the price? That’s what Italian-based electric car company XEV and 3D-printing material company Polymaker want to achieve with a tiny but adorable car called the LSEV.

“XEV is the first real mass production project using 3D printing,� said  Dr. Luo Xiaofan, co-founder and CEO of Polymaker, during a recent press conference at the 3D-Printing Cultural Museum in Shanghai.

“By saying real, I mean there are also lots of other companies using 3D printing for production. But nothing can really compare with XEV in terms of the size, the scale, and the intensity.�

According to CNBC, the printed car will weigh just around 450 kgs (992 pounds), takes just three days to print, and will bring you back under $10K. The secret behind this price tag, Polymaker says, lies in the 3D printing process itself. The company managed to shrink the number of plastic components that go into the vehicle from 2,000 to just 57. This makes it much faster and cheaper to print, but also lighter than any comparable vehicle. Apart from the chassis, seats, and glass panes, every visible part of the car was 3D-printed.

It does come with limitations, however — this isn’t a sports car. It’ll do up to 43 mph (around 70km/h), and a single charge will cover about 93 miles (150km). Not good if you’re trying to cross the border to Mexico in a hurry — but really handy when you have to zip about through a crowded city. The vehicle’s relatively small dimensions also help in this regard.

People seem to agree with me: as XEV reports, they’ve already received 7,000 orders for their car, despite the fact that production should start sometime in the quarter of 2019.

“This strategic partnership between XEV and Polymaker leads to a revolutionary change in automotive manufacturing,� writes Polymaker. “It is possible that similar changes, related with 3D printing technology, will happen to every aspect of manufacturing very soon.�

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New 3devo desktop industrial extruders promise to slash 3d printing costs and environmental impact

Oct 21, 2016 | By Nick

Dutch company 3devo has launched what it claims are the world’s first industrial desktop filament extruders, which should help slash the costs of commercial grade filament.

The 3devo NEXT 1.0 and 3devo Advanced provide many of the benefits of a large format extruder with a small form factor that could make either one more attractive for small businesses or committed hobbyists that want to cut their 3D printer filament costs in the long term.

The NEXT costs $3,370 (€3,100) and the Advanced starts at $4,300 for the black powder-coated version, with both prices excluding sales tax and shipping. SO it’s a sizeable investment, but for serious hobbyists, business users or research institutes then it shouldn’t take long to recoup the initial expense and we expect this product to find a market.

The Blank Anodized and Black powder coated 3devo NEXT and 3devo Advanced, front and side view respectively.

Using either regrind or industrial virgin plastic granulate, both can have a significant impact on your 3D printing costs and even cut the cost of the finished products for the end user. They both measure just 50.6×21.6×54.0cm, too, so they’re small enough to fit on most workbenches and they won’t take up half the workshop like some recycling systems.

They both come with a self-regulating filament diameter control system that ensures a consistent output that stays where you set it, which can be anywhere between 0.5-3mm. It comes with a diameter sensor that is accurate to 43 Microns, too, which is tight enough for most applications. You get a cooling system for high-speed extrusions, presets of PLA and ABS and the chance to change the settings on the fly. The filament winds on to a spool automatically and it even comes with sensors to reduce the chance of dry running.

The 3devo Next 1.0 is aimed at committed hobbyists, smaller commercial 3D printing outlets and universities that want to cut their costs by up to a factor of seven and lower the environmental impact of their additive manufacturing work. It’s a win-win, because using recycled materials and shredding their own plastics to create new ABS or PET products can lower the cost of 3D printing filament to as little as $0.55/lb.

The ability to produce 3D printer filament at this rate could change the way we all approach 3D printing as it means we can afford to let our imagination run free, safe in the knowledge that we have the means to recycle misprints or just old 3D prints. It takes the reins off your 3D printer and means there’s a constant supply of low-cost, high-grade materials at your disposal. You can even experiment with combinations of plastics to create the perfect filament for the task at hand in terms of tensile strength, flex and even the finished look.

The 3devo Advanced is aimed at universities, researchers, plastics companies and 3D printing specialists that want to produce small test batches or low volume runs of new filament compounds. It’s for companies that really want to push the limits of filament technology by creating new grades or even an entirely new plastic compound by mixing virgin or recycled plastics together to create stronger, more flexible or durable products.

With an extruder sat right beside them, researchers can constantly experiment with new types of filaments and simply recycle them after noting the results. The 3devo Advanced can create up to 1.5kg of commercial-grade filament an hour and that makes it a potent ally when it comes to developing new filaments or simply creating specific compounds for demanding applications.

The 3devo NEXT has three separate, independent heating zones and a maximum temperature of 350 degrees Centigrade, while the 3devo Advanced can go up to 450 degrees Centigrade and comes with four separate zones. That means the 3devo Advanced can handle materials like PEEK and other high-end engineering plastics that come with a higher melting point and it also comes with a mixing section in the extruder screw that can allow for precise compounding and gradient work.

We like these 3devo products and we’re sure they’re going to find a home in the 3D printing world. Everyone from hobbyists to professional organizations need to cut the cost of their 3D printing and recycle their old prints and materials.

Now you can integrate this desktop unit into your workflow and create your own filament at home and we think it’s a surefire winner.

Posted in 3D Printer Accessories

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Stratasys 3D Printing Allows Automotive Manufacturer to Reduce Assembly Tool Production Costs …

November 18, 2015

Opel uses Stratasys 3D printed manufacturing tools to attach production parts to its renowned ‘Adam’ car – including roof spoilers, glass roofs and the iconic lettering on the rear windows

Using its fleet of Stratasys FDM 3D Printers, the car manufacturer can 3D print assembly tools in less than 24 hours ready for use on the production line

MINNEAPOLIS & REHOVOT, Israel–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS), the 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company, today announced that automotive giant, Opel, is slashing manufacturing tool production costs by up to 90% using its Stratasys 3D Printers, as well as 3D printing assembly tools in less than 24 hours.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151118005077/en/

Among the assembly tools 3D printed by Opel with its Stratasys FDM 3D Printers are those used to pos ...

Among the assembly tools 3D printed by Opel with its Stratasys FDM 3D Printers are those used to position the roof onto vehicles. Photo: Stratasys

Opel was the third-largest passenger car brand in the European Union in 2014, and together with Vauxhall, sold more than a million cars. With efficient production crucial to its success, Opel’s International Technical Development Center is 3D printing a range of manufacturing and assembly tools to advance the production of its iconic ‘Adam’ hatchback car. These assembly tools are used to precisely attach different components to the car, such as the rocker molding and roof spoilers, align the iconic ‘Adam’ lettering on the rear-side window, as well as assemble the glass and retractable roofs.

“Besides the cut in tool production time and considerable cost reductions, customized tools are a third important benefit achieved with 3D printing. We are now able to produce more complex shapes than we could via conventional manufacturing. This crucially allows us to adapt the tool to the worker and the specific car,” says Sascha Holl, Virtual Simulation Engineer – Tool Design at Opel.

Since 3D printing its manufacturing tools, the company involves its assembly-line workers in the design process to improve efficiency. This allows operators to evaluate concepts, using their experience to highlight any potential issues before committing to the production of the final assembly tool for each specific car component. With Stratasys 3D printing, any required design iterations to the Opel manufacturing tools are easily accommodated in a matter of hours, eliminating costly iterations further along the production process.

“Cases like Opel emphasize the massive impact that low risk, high-reward 3D printed parts – such as manufacturing tools – can have on production efficiency,” says Andy Middleton, President, Stratasys, EMEA. “The capability to produce such items on-demand at a reduced costs can significantly accelerate time-to-production and give businesses that competitive edge. Combine that with the ability to customize tools efficiently, as well as create complex geometries, and you can see why Opel is indicative of the way in which additive manufacturing is transforming our customer’s production operations.”

To learn more about how Opel is using Stratasys 3D printed manufacturing tools to enhance the production line, watch this video.

For more than 25 years, Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) has been a defining force and dominant player in 3D printing and additive manufacturing – shaping the way things are made. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel, the company empowers customers across a broad range of vertical markets by enabling new paradigms for design and manufacturing. The company’s solutions provide customers with unmatched design freedom and manufacturing flexibility – reducing time-to-market and lowering development costs, while improving designs and communications. Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape and the Stratasys ecosystem includes 3D printers producing prototypes and parts; a wide range of 3D printing materials; parts on-demand via Stratasys Direct Manufacturing; strategic consulting and professional services; and Thingiverse/GrabCAD communities with 5+ million free design components, printable files. With 3,000 employees and 800 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents, Stratasys has received more than 30 technology and leadership awards. Visit us online at: www.stratasys.com or http://blog.stratasys.com.

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Stratasys Media Contacts
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Danielle Ryan, +1-952-906-2252
Stratasys
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or
Europe
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or
Stratasys
Arita Mattsoff, +972-(0)74-745-4000 (IL)
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or
Joe Hiemenz, +1-952-906-2726 (US)
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or
Asia Pacific
Stratasys AP
Janice Lai, +852 3944 8888
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or
Japan
Stratasys Japan
Aya Yoshizawa, +81 90 6473 1812
[email protected]
or
Korea
Stratasys Korea
Janice Lai, +852 3944 8888
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or
Greater China
Stratasys Shanghai
Icy Xie, +86-21-26018886
[email protected]
or
Mexico, Central America, Caribe and South America
Stratasys Mexico
Erica Massini, +55 11 2626 9229
[email protected]
or
Brazil
Tatiana Fonseca, +55-11-3846-9981
GAD Communications
[email protected]

Source: Stratasys Ltd.

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