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On the [3D Printed] Road

Jim Kor, of Stratasys, announced the trip at the Manufacturing the Future Summit in November.  Popular Mechanics was on hand during the announcement: “about two years from now, Cody and Tyler Kor, now 20 and 22 years old, respectively, will drive coast-to-coast in the lozenge-shaped Urbee 2, a car made mostly by 3D printing…they will spend just 10 gallons of fuel to complete the trip from New York to San Francisco.  Then they will refuel, turn around, [and go back the other way].” 

The reason why the Kors chose a New York to San Francisco route is to echo the route taken by Horatio Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker in 1903, the first road trip in an automobile.  Instead of 10 gallons, however, Jackson and Crocker used 800! 

It was important for the Kors to use so little gas because the original concept of the Urbee 2 was a “vehicle intended for urban use, powered by electric motors and a small, ethanol-fueled combustion engine.  Those key words – urban, electric, ethanol – gave the Urbee its name.”  Jim Kor says that the Google time estimate for the trip is 44 hours, but it will probably take his sons just a little bit longer. 

While discussing the years-long development of the Urbee 2, Korr says, “there were two of us that knew the aerodynamics really well, and two industrial designers, the industrial designers kept saying, ‘It can’t look like a jellybean.’  But I was adamant that the design must be efficient first, and then we would design for the look.  Most cars are done the other way around – they start with how they want the car to look, and then they try to find ways to make it efficient.”

Photos and Quotes Courtesy of Popular Mechanics      

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