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Electric vehicle: 3D printed electric car really drives

Last updated on March 9, 2021

With their Chameleon project, Scaled has shown that electric cars can be made from 3D printers.

Car from the 3D printer (Image: Scaled)

It looks like a car in its raw state: no doors, no roof and no side panels. Nevertheless, with the Chameleon project , Scaled set up a drivable car with four wheels and an electric motor. The special thing about it: The vehicle comes from the 3D printer. It came about within half a year.

The single-seater consists of a polyamide plastic compound that was shaped with 3D printers. There are also some components made from recycled plastic. The engine weighs 50 kg, the rest of the car another 100 kg. The result was a miniature vehicle that did not yet have a body.

But the developers were not interested in a marketable product. Together with the Rafinex company, they developed a topology-optimized design. The software designed by Rafinex works stochastically: Many random variations are tested under load conditions before a final, optimized structural design is completed.

Even if the prototype is not intended for series production, the developers emphasize that it is not just the design and manufacture of such a vehicle that are cheaper than using traditional methods. In addition, there is no need for assembly lines in manufacturing. Each vehicle variant can be manufactured in a single, versatile production cell.

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