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I'll Be There As Soon As My Car Is Done Printing

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On: Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 9:28AM | By: Karen Cook

I'll Be There As Soon As My Car Is Done Printing

Do you remember sitting in class and working on “ditto” worksheets? If you’re somewhere in the neighborhood of 40, I’m sure you remember those purple printed pages with the distinctive chemical aroma. It took the teacher about 10 minutes to copy enough pages for a typical class of students. My, how technology has progressed! Faxing, making copies or printing from your computer is commonplace and can be done in seconds. The next big thing in printing and copying is done in 3D. From clothing to body parts, the possibilities are limitless.

Now, thanks to a man named Jim Kor, who was born in Amsterdam but lives in Canada, we can print a car! Mr. Kor has refined the printing process to enable a 3D printer to print most of the parts needed to build a 3-wheeled automobile. He calls it the Urbee 2 and he believes it will revolutionize the auto industry. Instead of making the car from lots and lots of small parts, the printer combines the different shapes to produce large components which are easily assembled and prepared for the parts that cannot be printed as yet, such as the engine and the base chassis.

When his car is finished it will be fitted with a hybrid engine and he plans to drive it across the country from New York to San Francisco and back. Due to the combination of parts and the polymer used in the printing process The Urbee 2 only weighs 1200 pounds and it is estimated that the trip will require only 10 gallons of gas each way. The 36-volt electric motor gives the car about 10 horsepower and when it reaches 40 mph, will switch to the diesel engine for the higher more constant speeds on the highway.

This technology is still in the early stages but it has great potential. At this point the Urbee 2 is being classified as a motorcycle because of its weight and having only three wheels, but it carries two passengers. It also has no airbags due to its classification. Another problem is the 2500 hours it takes to print one. However, all of these issues are sure to be solved in the future.

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