The next time you’re looking for a new car model, you might take a printout of it instead of purchasing it from the nearest car dealer. For example, there is a 3D-printed electric car from Honda whose various parts have been 3D-printed. Honda has made this 3D-printed electric car in collaboration with the Japanese tech design firm Kabuku. The 3D-printed electric car was showcased at the Japanese consumer electronics show called CEATEC 2016.
Although such a car may seem like a random experiment by a car company at the cutting edge of technology, Honda has actually 3D-printed this electric car for a cookie company called Toshimaya. The cookie company intends to use this card to deliver cookies in the neighbourhood. It is a single seater with lots of space in the back to keep cookie boxes. Since the car is 3D-printed – that is, how its outer body looks can be easily managed through the printout – the logo and the branding of the Toshimaya cookie company has been incorporated into the outer body of the car.
The 3D-printed electric car has been designed by Honda’s motorcycle division so its basic structure resembles that of a motorcycle a lot. The car is naturally light weight but it has a very strong structure. This 3DPrint.com link explains in detail how the car was designed and printed out.
So how does it work? You simply give the print command and lo and behold! you got a car for yourself? 3D printing technology hasn’t advanced that much. Right now individual parts are printed out and then they are assembled. 3D printing a car doesn’t mean that you create a car inside your computer, take a printout, and then go for a drive. Although the basic design can be printed out, one actually has to assemble the car in order to be able to use it. Besides, even with different parts being printed out, the entire process of 3D printing took an entire month with the printer running 24 x 7. So it’s kind of slow. You cannot mass-produce cars with this 3D printing technology yet.