Urbee 2, the first road-ready, fuel-efficient car built using 3D printing, is the subject of a collaboration between design firm KOR EcoLogic, direct digital manufacturers RedEye On Demand, and 3D-printing manufacturer Stratsys. Their aim is to put the 7 hp (5 kW) three-wheeled, rear-steering eco-hybrid on the roads by 2015, and then demonstrate its capabilities by crossing the US using only ten gallons (38 L) of fuel.
The first Urbee, introduced in 2010, combined a fuel-efficient 5 hp (3.8 kW) hybrid drive and a 3D-printed body with excellent aerodynamic performance to achieve over 200 mpg on the highway. However, the original 3D-printed body was made using a great deal of excess material to produce strength without the benefit of careful designing. The safety of the car in a crash was also questionable. As a result, the Urbee was a successful concept car, but stopped there.
Stopped, that is, until the Urbee 2 came along. Urbee 2 shares the same general design, being a three-wheeled two-seater that is steered by a single wheel in the rear of the vehicle. It will weigh about 1,200 lbs (550 kg), some thirty percent less than the original Urbee.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc