3D Printed Electric Street-Scooter
3D Printing News
Meet the StreetScooter C16, a 3D printed Electric Car built by the Objet1000 3D Production System
It may sound like science fiction, but we now have a 3D-printed electric car. The StreetScooter C16 short distance electric vehicle was developed in 12 months and built by a team at Aachen University with the Objet1000 Multi-material 3D production system by Stratasys.
3D Printing was used for all of the vehicle’s exterior plastic parts, including the large front and back panels, door panels, bumper systems, side skirts, wheel arches, lamp masks, and a few interior components, such as the retainer instrument board and a host of smaller components.
A Fully Functioning Electric Scooter
Parts were produced using Stratasys’ tough Digital ABS material, enabling the engineering team to build a prototype car that could perform in strenuous testing environments at the same level as a vehicle made of traditionally manufactured parts.
The result is a fully functioning StreetScooter weighing 1000 lbs without the battery, and which has a range of 100 km at a top speed of 100 km/hr , making it an ideal city vehicle.
“The Objet1000 is the largest multi-material 3D Production System on the market and Aachen University was the first university in the world to have one,” said Achim Kampker, Professor of Production Management in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Aachen University.
“Being able to use it in the development of large and small parts for StreetScooter was exciting in itself,” Kampker says, “but the contribution the 3D printed parts made to the construction of the car was enormous.”
This big breakthrough replaces traditional automotive manufacturing with the Stratsys 3D printing system through the design phase.
Landmark Application of 3D printing
The advantage of being able to design and print specific parts on demand and in-house made the project a landmark
“The ability to produce full-scale prototypes that perform like the final parts accelerated testing and design verification, enabling us to bring to market a prototype electric car in just 12 months – something that is just unimaginable with traditional manufacturing,” Kampker explains.
“By using the Objet1000, our largest 3D Printer, we are again demonstrating the continued strong connection between education and industry,” said Shelly Linor, director of global education at Stratasys. “Allowing students to work with a 3D printer with a build tray of that size helps prepare them for careers that include cutting-edge design on a large scale that are not only visually impressive, but also allow for functional innovation.”
3D printing technology had been used before by Aachen University for StreetScooter. Various components of the StreetScooter were 3D printed in the early design phase of the car for the fast realization of geometric and functional prototypes. These included the retainer instrument board, the drive mode switch panel, the mirror compartment, and the Deutsche Post bonnet logo. The final production model of StreetScooter was developed for Deutsche Post AG and is now a larger capacity delivery van now on the streets in Germany.
Design on-the-fly and Customized Manufacturing
“With the advanced 3D printing technology available to us from Stratasys, vehicles can be easily customized for specific customers, enabling us to design on-the-fly,” Kampker said. “These cars can be developed from scratch and ready in a matter of months, not years, as with traditional automotive production processes. The StreetScooter project has demonstrated to us how a whole new approach to car design and manufacturing is possible with 3D printing.”