In February, students in Singapore went above and beyond expectations and broke into the frontiers of 3D-printing. At Nanyang Technological University, students made a 3D-printed electric car, which, according to PCMag, is Singapore’s first.

3D-Printed car in Singapore.

PCmag’s photo of the 3D-Printed car in Singapore.

What About A Printed Car?

The article describes the car and how it runs on solar energy. The car is also a race car, with the ability to reach speeds of up to 60 kph. It is slender and aerodynamic, but comfortable enough inside for the driver to have enough space. It is lightweight and has vertical-opening doors. According to an article in Technewsworld, the car has 150 parts that were printed individually.

Mass Numbers of Cars?

In the Technewsworld article, Jenifer Howard comments that 3D-printing unfortunately is only good enough for an individual-use basis at this point. Also, it takes a lot of time for 3D-printing to create a working product. According to PC mag, it took a year to create the car from “scratch” to make it become functional. Mass production is not a viable option yet. Regardless, the means are there to create cars.

Also, because of how the car is structured and how much it weighs, putting it on the road would not be a good idea. Those riding in the vehicles would have to be of a certain weight. And in comparison to all the different types of vehicles on the road today, this car would not hold up well in car crashes or accidents.

Local Motors 3D-printed car.

Local Motors 3D-printed car / image from their site.

While on a mass scale this is not a viable venture, there are still other innovative avenues being explored by other groups as well. Local Motors has a 3D-printed car that they hope to introduce into the marketplace within the next year. Like the car from the students, this car also is electrically powered. According to the site, each Strati car takes about 44 hours to print.

Regardless of the problems that exist with the production aspects of 3D cars, the leaps that innovators are making with transportation are what can take us to a more energy efficient future.

Have you got some thoughts about the future of 3-D printed cars? We’d love to hear your comments!