Autodesk Inventor helps design world’s “greenest” car

Autodesk's Clean Tech Partner Program for Winipeg-based KOR EcoLogic’s 200 MPG Urbee

Comments Off on Autodesk Inventor helps design world’s “greenest” car December 2, 2010
by Design Engineering staff

LAS VEGAS — Autodesk, Inc. announced that Winnipeg-based KOR EcoLogic used Autodesk’s software to design the first prototype car with a body created using a 3D printer. The KOR EcoLogic Urbee car is the world’s “greenest car” the creators claim in that it gets up to 200 miles per gallon (MPG) using a hybrid electric/gasoline engine.

The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program — which provides design and engineering software for emerging clean tech companies in North America and Europe — enabled KOR EcoLogic to design and test the Urbee using Autodesk tools, including Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Showcase and Autodesk Alias Design software.

“The Urbee was designed from the ground up to be as efficient as possible, and to run on renewable energy,” said Jim Kor, president and chief technology officer of KOR EcoLogic. “From concept through rendering, Autodesk software helped us not only build an efficient and sustainable car, but also communicate our designs to a broader audience, including potential investors.”

Using Autodesk partner Stratasys’ digital manufacturing service, Urbee is the first car to have its entire body 3D printed with an additive process.

The KOR EcoLogic team began by developing a set of core principles and pinning them to their workshop wall. Among them, the Urbee was designed to use minimal energy and produce less pollution during its design, manufacturing, operation and recycling stages, while remaining affordable and visually appealing.

The Urbee can be charged through a standard home outlet, or through a home solar array, windmill or conventional energy source, running on as little as 1 cent of energy per mile travelled.

The Urbee team used Autodesk Inventor software to design a digital prototype of the car’s body and subject it to simulated road and wind conditions, test different body designs to minimize drag and reduce overall weight by eliminating excess parts. More than 80 percent of a product’s environmental impact can be determined during the design phase, making Inventor a critical component in establishing the Urbee’s high level of environmental responsibility. KOR EcoLogic used Autodesk Showcase 3D visualization software to create photorealistic renderings of the Urbee for marketing to potential investors, partners and the general public.

The Urbee was a contender for the 2010 Automotive X Prize, which challenges teams to design, build and race super-efficient, low-emission vehicles that can be manufactured for the mass market.