The dream of a fully 3D printed electric car is some distant future, but 3D printing is steadily making its way into the automotive component space. Everyone wants a piece of the action, including Canadian auto parts suppliers. They’re about to break out of the pack with Project Arrow, a new electric vehicle with a fully functional 3D printed chassis.
Project Arrow is a concept car, but as the global auto industry shifts to new technologies, it’s likely that some of these parts will be used in the next electric vehicle.
3D-printed electric cars of the future come from Canada
Canada is unlikely to be the first country in the conversation about electric vehicle parts and 3D printing, but Project Arrow could change that.
The new electric vehicle is a concept showcase for the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, a Canadian industry association. They launched his program in the summer of 2020 with a design competition focused on parts for Canadian companies.
Project Arrow moved fast last year with plans for an official unveiling at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and everything is going according to plan. According to various reports, the final touches were still being applied until December, but the fully functional and drivable electric car is ready to be showcased at CES on January 5th, which it proudly promises. It features a 3D-printed chassis from Canadian company Xaba.,
3D printed chassis for more sustainable electric vehicles
clean technica A Xaba rep reached out via email to remind the All-Canadian Angle that Project Arrow is “the first car made entirely from Canadian intellectual property.”
“The materials and manufacturing processes used, from manufacturing to operation, also make it the first-ever fully sustainable vehicle,” they added.
When it comes to 3D printing in particular, sustainability factors depend on the material being extruded, the energy consumed during the process, and where the final product will be used.
In the automotive sector, 3D printed parts can help improve fuel efficiency and battery range by reducing weight compared to traditional parts. We can also employ more sustainable materials, such as recycled materials.
Manufacturers are starting to pay more attention to the environmental impact of their supply chains, and so are 3D printing innovators. Printed parts are becoming popular not only in the automotive sector, but also in applications such as photovoltaic systems, wind turbines, bicycle frames and batteries.
Introducing the (enhanced) robot
Xaba is one of the innovators to watch. The company notes “the need to drive more sustainability in manufacturing by eliminating waste caused by human error and inaccuracies in manufacturing and enabling the use of more sustainable materials.” increase.
Xaba’s contribution to this space is a high-precision industrial robot-enabled 3D system called the Xaba Intelligent Machine. The system deploys commonly used robots in today’s industry and is enhanced by a patented control system.
“Xaba empowers these smart machines to automatically optimize, adjust, or modify manufacturing design flows to address constraints. This will support manufacturing processes using new methods and materials. ,” the company explains.
“This is a configurable commercial control system based on FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) technology that uses a proprietary data ontology to tap into all meaningful data within the system’s neural networks, while allowing deep It incorporates learning.” A customer-configurable integrated circuit.
Metaphysical alternatives would be equally interesting, but let’s assume they imply an ontology like a classification system.
A long road to 3D printed electric vehicles
Another aspect of 3D printing’s sustainability is its potential for shrinking and decentralizing industrial facilities. All else being equal, a network of small 3D printing factories could be established within existing buildings or brownfields rather than destroying greenfields with huge construction projects. Benefits may also include reduced emissions related to shipping and transportation.
The combination of 3D printing and local production clean technica In 2015, the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E funding office announced a 3D printed electric vehicle being developed by EV startup Local Motors as part of the Department of Energy’s LITECAR (Lightweight Technology Enabling Comprehensive Vehicle Redesign) challenge. Radar goes back when you put your car on display.
clean technica I saw the printer setup during a trade show and everything equates to a large parking space.
“This unusual automaker specializes in collaborative open-source design, microfactories, and 3D printing. we observed.
“What we didn’t realize is this other challenge launched by Local Motors that will get you behind the wheel of a fully customized 3D printed car within the next year,” he added.
Well, I was a little too optimistic. Local Motors said he was ready to produce an autonomous electric shuttle called Olli by 2019, but the company abruptly shut down in January 2022, as news agency 3D Printing Media confirmed. rice field.
Next Steps for Project Arrow
Despite its demise, Local Motors is known for introducing 3D printing to the automotive industry, and now Project Arrow demonstrates a new level of sophistication in the field.
Project Arrow also demonstrates growing interest in electric vehicles across the supply chain.
The Auto Parts Manufacturers Association previewed the new electric vehicle at Pfaff Autoworks in Markham, Ontario on December 20, and also released the Project Arrow supplier list. A roster of dozens of suppliers was selected from a list of over 200 Canadian companies of 534 companies that initially expressed interest in the project.
car news canada I have scooped the details of the supply chain.
ANC reporter David Kennedy wrote: “The vehicle features components from nearly 60 Canadian suppliers, from his Quebec wheel maker Fastco Canada to battery his VoltaXplore, Martinrea International Inc. and graphene company NanoXplore. is a joint venture of
“A range of software companies, such as Cybeats Technologies Inc., which provides software bills of materials, are also among those represented by Arrow, which was designed as a first means of ‘complete supply chain transparency.’” said Kennedy.
To ensure transparency, the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association also clarified that only one part was manufactured outside of Canada. The organization searched for a domestic screen supplier, but was unsuccessful. They settled on Lenovo, which provided the screens through a partnership with the Ontario Institute of Technology, which is also Project Arrow’s primary academic partner.
The next steps include a two-year global tour after exhibiting at CES 2023, aimed at drawing attention to Canadian auto parts suppliers. Industry stakeholders have also raised the possibility that the production model will follow, according to Kennedy’s report, so stay tuned for that.
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Photo: Project Arrow EV with fully 3D printed chassis (Courtesy of Project Arrow).
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