XEV, the Italian car manufacturer, is starting production on a 3D printed vehicle called the LSEV next year at a “mega factory” in Jiangsu.
There are plenty of cool 3D printed cars in the world right now. But, not many of them are realistic to drive to work in. However, hopefully this may change within the next fews years. An Italian car manufacturer hoping to make this happen.
XEV has revealed that starting next year, production of its 3D printed cars will begin at a mega-factory in Jiangsu, China.
Called the LSEV, the two-seater is an almost entirely 3D printed and electric. It is being developed along with Polymaker, the Chinese 3D printing materials company.
In total, the car has 57 plastic components and just a few conventionally made parts including the windows and structural framework. As a result, it’s possible to construct in just a few days.
But, Luke Taylor, Marketing Manager at Polymaker, explains: “It’s nothing really new here. What they’ve built is a very robust, high-temperature industrial 3D printer. The technology is well-known in the industry, it’s just a new way of applying it and then applying the post processes on this kind of scale. That has never been done before.”
To create the car parts, XEV is producing 2,000 of its own large-format plastic extrusion 3D printers. It then prints using four different grades of polyamide and TPU with Warp-Free technology by Polymaker.
After printing, parts go through post-processing called Vacuum Lamination. This is a technique developed by both companies. It is similar to vacuum forming and is useful for hiding FDM layers and reducing the need to paint the car.
So far, XEV has 3D printed and built 15 cars which are now undergoing safety tests before they can be certified.
Taylor adds: “No one has tried to do this mass produced, easily customizable car. The automotive industry is already doing this but it’s taking it even further. Every car is unique and I think that will really appeal to the customers, especially the fact that it’s going to be a very competitive price, and with the rise of electric vehicles we think it’s going to be very successful.”
Proving how unique these cars can be is XEV’s first client, Poste Italiane, the postal service in Italy which has already commissioned 5,000 of the vehicles. These cars will be specially customized to include storage boxes instead of a passenger seat.
However, the cars aren’t ready for regular consumers. But, when they are, Taylor expects it’ll be possible to use a “car builder platform” online to truly personalize the car.
It’s expected that the LSEV will cost up to €10,000. However, the company won’t be stopping there as it plans to create further designs including a sports car. Watch this space.
Source: tct Magazine
License: The text of "XEV to Start Production of 3D Printed Electric Car at Chinese Mega Factory" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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