Taking the use of 3D printing in vehicle design to the next level, Korean design house KLIO Design has come up with the ‘Open structure Mobility Concept’. This is micro electric mobility that can be be modified and customized through 3D printing and increases the scope for environment friendly vehicles as individual users and businesses can customize them based on their requirements. The current emphasis in the design is on having zero emissions as KLIO Design believes that vehicles should have minimal impact on the environment throughout their entire life cycle.
The company wants to promote new consumption patterns so that so that scrapping of existing products will have minimal impact and the key to this is modularization. Using various forms of life as the inspiration, KLIO Design used a mathematical method to generate structural patterns so that there is optimal material distribution.
The shape and design were optimized to find design variables that would lead to minimum mass without any compromise when it comes to safety. Based on these criteria, the company created an optimized structure where the external force (load on the body in the driving situation) acts, and presented guidelines for initial shape design. The company went on to create a pilot model that can be customized based on the purpose, the number of passengers that would use the vehicle and other factors. The simple electric powertrain is integrated to the underbody and its components are minimized to facilitate upgrade of performance and range as required. The powertrain is controlled by an integrated inverter/converter control unit.
Both the scale and actual size model were 3D-printed, with the actual sized model being made of plastic powder material (PMMA). The 3D printing equipment used to make this model has the highest level of printing speed and resolution, material loss rate close to zero, and is mainly used for casting. As 3D printing is used, it can make a shape that cannot be formed quickly by conventional CNC method. This shape is expected to widely used in the future.
There was some concern about damage that could result due to material properties. Hence, the body was not colored and the test drive was conducted without the upper body being assembled. The initial prototype was completed by assembling the upper body and the underbody which had gone through the test drive.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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