BigRep rolls out 3D printed autonomous electric podcar
Large-format 3D printer maker’s LOCI prototype designed as “last mile” vehicle.
Large-format 3D printer manufacturer, BigRep, showed off three versions of its LOCI podcar, a 3D printed autonomous electric vehicle prototype, at formnext 2019 in Germany. Designed by BigRep’s innovation consultancy, NOWLAB, the podcar is intended as a “last mile transportation solution” for applications such as airport and train station departures, work commutes and campus transport.
“LOCI is more than a vehicle; it’s the evolution of personalized mobility,” said NOWLAB co-founder and BigRep CIO, Daniel Buening. “LOCI is an affordable solution for urban transportation, harnessing the agility of AM while also demonstrating the cost-efficient advantages of 3D printing for sustainable AM such as manufacturing personalized products on-site and on-demand.”
Measuring 85cm x 146cm x 285cm, the LOCI prototype is composed of 14 unique parts, the largest of which measures 1000 x 600 x 700mm. All parts were printed with a BigRep PRO, BigRep Studio G2 or BigRep ONE additive system in one of four build materials: The company’s PRO HT PLA alternative for the podcar’s body, TPU for the airless tires, PLX for the bumpers and PA6/66 for the beams and joints.
In addition, LOCI’s parts also incorporate the company’s Part DNA technology – NFC chips embedded into the parts so they can be scanned and identified using a mobile device. The company says, in the future, the chips will be integrated with sensors to monitor part status and provide maintenance or replacement information.