Italy-based electric car company XEV and 3D printing company Polymaker introduce the first mass-producible 3D-printed electric car in the world, the LSEV. By 3D printing the city-ready vehicle, which cost just $7,500 USD, XEV and Polymaker have knocked the number of individual plastic components down from the typically-used 2,000 to 57 parts — excluding mirrors, lights, chassis and such.
The LSEV weighs just 450 kilograms, compared to the tonne that is typical of similarly-sized cars. Save for the chassis, seats and glass, all visible parts of the car have been manufactured in Polymaker materials through 3D printing, which has meant a 70% reduction of investment cost.
The 57 plastic parts, interior, and exterior were produced in just three days – Each of XEV’s 3D printing systems extruding 25kg of material per day. This level of productivity supplemented the weight and cost savings and ensured a successful application of 3D printing technology for XEV.
“There are so many benefits that 3D printing brings to our process,” commented Stanley Lu, XEV CEO. “To summarise, we give freedom to creativity. Not only our customers but also the general public can have a way to join the car development. You can also change the way how industrial make cars today. The investment of building a factory becomes much smaller. We create the most efficient way of production, not just for the car, but for other projects.”
“Without Polymaker, we couldn’t make this happen,” continues Lu. “We really like our interactions with Polymaker. Without this kind of interaction, we couldn’t find the solution we have today.”
“XEV is the first real mass production project using 3D printing,” said Dr Luo Xiaofan, the co-foudner and CEO of Polymaker. “By saying real, I mean there are lots of companies using 3D printing for production, but nothing can really compare with XEV in terms of the size, the scale and the intensity.”
According to the reports XEV already sold 7,000 of them in preorders to two companies: the Italian postal service – Poste Italiane – and Arval, a car sharing service owned by BNP Paribas. The car was created by an Italian-Chinese team, and produced with support from Polymaker, which provided the 3D printing materials. The car, which has a top speed of 43 miles per hour, and covers a range of 93 miles per charge, will be available in Asia and Europe in 2019.