3D Printing

Honda 3D prints compact delivery EV

The Micro Commuter delivery vehicle was created for confectionary firm Toshimaya
The Micro Commuter delivery vehicle was created for confectionary firm Toshimaya
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The Micro Commuter delivery vehicle was created for confectionary firm Toshimaya
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The Micro Commuter delivery vehicle was created for confectionary firm Toshimaya
The exterior panels of the Micro Commuter have been 3D-printed
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The exterior panels of the Micro Commuter have been 3D-printed
There is space in the rear of the Micro Commuter for delivery goods
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There is space in the rear of the Micro Commuter for delivery goods
The Micro Commuter makes use of Kabuku's "Rinkak Mass Customization Solutions"
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The Micro Commuter makes use of Kabuku's "Rinkak Mass Customization Solutions"
The 3D printing solution used for the Micro Commuter provides rapid 3D design, mold-less 3D printing and a network of factories for fabrication
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The 3D printing solution used for the Micro Commuter provides rapid 3D design, mold-less 3D printing and a network of factories for fabrication
The vehicle is based on Honda's Micro Commuter Concept
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The vehicle is based on Honda's Micro Commuter Concept
3D printing makes it relatively quick and straightforward to customize the Micro Commuter's body panels as required
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3D printing makes it relatively quick and straightforward to customize the Micro Commuter's body panels as required
The Micro Commuter's chassis is constructed from a rigid lightweight pipe frame structure
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The Micro Commuter's chassis is constructed from a rigid lightweight pipe frame structure
Software is used for designing the Micro Commuter's 3D-printed parts
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Software is used for designing the Micro Commuter's 3D-printed parts
The Micro Commuter's hood panel is produced as a full single piece
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The Micro Commuter's hood panel is produced as a full single piece
The Honda/Kabuku 3D-printed electric delivery van was on display at CEATEC 2016
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The Honda/Kabuku 3D-printed electric delivery van was on display at CEATEC 2016
3D printing is used to produce the Micro Commuter's exterior panels
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3D printing is used to produce the Micro Commuter's exterior panels
The vehicle is based on Honda's Micro Commuter Concept
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The vehicle is based on Honda's Micro Commuter Concept
The Micro Commuter delivery vehicle has space in the rear for transporting produce
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The Micro Commuter delivery vehicle has space in the rear for transporting produce

Where 3D printing vehicles is concerned, Local Motors takes much of the headline chatter, but that's not to say others aren't dabbling with the technology. Last week, Honda and Kabuku unveiled a custom-designed electric vehicle for making deliveries, the body panels of which have been 3D-printed.

The Micro Commuter was created for confectionery firm Toshimaya, which needed a vehicle it could use for shortbread deliveries around its hometown of Kamakura in Japan and on which advertisements could be displayed. It was also necessary that the vehicle be able to negotiate Kamakura's narrows roads.

Working with digital fabrication outfit Kabuku, Honda developed the delivery vehicle over the course of about two months. It is based on the Micro Commuter Concept, which was first shown off in 2011, and employs Honda's Variable Design Platform. This sees key components – like the battery, motor and control unit – positioned together so that they can be easily used as the basis for other vehicles. The chassis, meanwhile, is constructed from a rigid lightweight pipe frame structure.

Where the Micro Commuter delivery vehicle differs from its forbears is the provision of space in the rear for transporting produce. This is in place of the two rear seats and means that the only seat in the vehicle is for the centrally-positioned driver. Overall, the vehicle measures 2,495 x 1,280 x 1,545 mm (98 x and 50 x 61 in) weighs just 600 kg (1,323 lb).

There is space in the rear of the Micro Commuter for delivery goods
There is space in the rear of the Micro Commuter for delivery goods

The vehicle also makes use of Kabuku's "Rinkak Mass Customization Solutions," which provide rapid 3D design, mold-less 3D printing and a network of factories for fabrication. The 3D printing is used to produce the vehicle's exterior panels, making it relatively quick and straightforward to customize them as required.

Under the hood is an 11-kW (15 hp) electric motor that gives the Micro Commuter a top speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) and a range of around 80 km (50 mi). According to Honda, the battery can be charged in under 3 hours at AC 200 V or under 7 hours at AC 100 V.

The Micro Commuter delivery vehicle was demonstrated last week at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) IT and electronics trade show in Japan.

Sources: Honda, Kabuku

2 comments
LordInsidious
I can see the combo of manufactured cars without the exterior and the exterior 3D printed by 3rd party being very appealing for many people as a way of making a unique vehicle and lowering costs
SuperFool
clean & sweet but the 3d printed stuff has a texture that will collect dirt fast. I guess the next big thing will be printers that leave a smooth finish.