First, it was Polymaker and XEV that teamed up to launched what at the time was claimed to be the first mass-producible 3D-printed electric car, the LSEV. Now BigRep has unveiled a design prototype of a sporty little number made up of 14 3D-printed parts, plus an electric powertrain and self-driving tech.
Named Loci, the curvy four-wheeler has been designed by the company’s NowLab consultancy. It measures 85 x 146 x 285 cm and is put together from 14 unique components printed using BigRep’s Pro, Studio G2, and One machine.
The body is printed using BigRep’s own Pro HT material, BigRep’s PLX material is used for the bumpers and the beams. The joints are created using Nylon 6 (PA6/66), and the tires from thermoplastic polyurethane. The vehicle includes a touchscreen media hub, surround sound audio, wireless smartphone charging and LED lighting.
The Loci prototype currently comes in three distinct models. The Berlin model is designed as a single-seater campus commuter and features TPU airless tires and components embedded with NFC chips that can be scanned using a mobile phone to help with identification (but could include sensors to track the status of each part in the future).
Urban commuters are the target for the San Francisco model, which features a narrow body, two passenger seats and a single door to the right that lifts up to provide cover for passengers exiting in the rain. The Dubai concept provides luxury airport transport and sports solar panels, luggage space and desert-ready rugged tires.
At the moment, you can think of Loci as a design study for a possible future production platform. The flexibility of the additive manufacturing production process allows for limited runs to be churned out with quick turnaround times. And the basic design can be modified to suit local needs.