Thursday, March 6, 2014
3D Printed Concept Car
At the Geneva Auto Show German automotive and aerospace engineering company EDAG has unveiled the Genesis, a visionary concept for the future of automotive design.
Built using 3D printing, the Genesis is a complete auto body that could ostensibly be produced by high-resolution fuse deposition modeling (FDM) machines in a single print run. At least that’s what EDAG envisions.
According to EDAG, “Unlike other technologies, FDM makes it possible for components of almost any size to be produced, as there are no pre-determined space requirements to pose any restrictions. Instead, the structures are generated by having robots apply thermoplastic materials.”
While thermoplastics might be key to reducing production costs, auto bodies are required to be strong, a fact not lost on the German firm. “By introducing endless carbon fibers during the production process, it is also possible to achieve the required strength and stiffness values.”
Although materials will deliver many of the solutions required to make the Genesis a reality, EDAG has also turned to nature to advance their automotive vision. Borrowing the geometry of a turtle’s shell the Genesis is transformed from a stiff, rigid metal sculpture to one that cushions and supports an interior carriage surrounded by reinforcing metals.
In the words of EDAG, the biomimetic concepts illustrated in the Genesis design cannot be manufactured by any means other than 3D printing. “The framework of the exhibit calls to mind a naturally developed skeletal frame, the form and structure of which should make one thing perfectly clear: these organic structures cannot be built using conventional tools! In the future, additive manufacturing could benefit designers and engineers by opening up enormous freedoms and new design options for development and production."Although EDAG’s vision for automotive design is likely a decade or more away from realization, its introduction at the manufacturer centric Geneva Motor Show represents another milestone for additive manufacturing and a clear vision for the future of safer, more economical automotive production.