China’s reputation for 3D printing very big things has grown this week, with Sanya Sihai creating the country’s very first additively manufactured vehicle.
Following WinSun’s 3D printing of a five-storey house in January, Sanya Sihai has created a 500 kilogram, electric-powered vehicle out of “Tyrant Gold” filament.
The 3.6 metre long, 1.3 metre wide vehicle is able to burn up the road at speeds of up to 40 kilometres an hour (slower than the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, has run).
The company said the composite used (the exact material was not mentioned in reports) had potential for light weighting vehicles in future.
"The density of the material is much lighter than that of the metal, only one-seventh or one-eighth,” the Hainan Province business’s chief designer, Chen Mingqiao, told Sky News.
"Lighter weight will help save energy in the future."
This is not the first 3D printed car to have been built, with the honour recognised as belonging to KOR EcoLogic’s Urbee vehicle.
Printed over five days, the Chinese vehicle was also slower to make than Local Motors’ Strati, which can be printed out in carbon fibre-reinforced ABS plastic over 44 hours.
The Strati was unveiled last September at Chicago’s International Manufacturing Technology Show. Local Motors plans to sell these to consumers, announcing two "microfactories" in January to eventually build the cars for the public.