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3-D printed car dashboard goes on tour

By: Barry Copping

March 7, 2012

REHOVOT, ISRAEL (March 7, 12:15 p.m. ET) — A fully assembled, concept-car dashboard, printed in 3-D by Objet Geometries Ltd., is making appearances at exhibitions worldwide.

According to the Rehovot-based company, the functional prototype for the StreetScooter project, complete with display screens, represents “the pinnacle of prototyping realism.”

A collaborative venture of over 80 companies, StreetScooter aims to develop an affordable electric car with an emphasis on sustainability. Working closely with other group members, Objet produced realistic prototypes fitting with the style and function of the car, including the 1.4-meter-wide dashboard made from more than 20 individually printed parts.

Objet applications team leader Ido Eylon tells PRW: “The principal challenge in producing the car dashboard was its size. Objet 3-D printers have a maximum build size of 500-by-400-by-200 millimeters, so the CAD drawing of the StreetScooter dashboard was broken down into smaller, printable parts.”

The size of the dashboard also figured strongly in deciding which materials to print with. Eylon says: “We had to be sure that the dashboard would be able to support its own weight without additional bracing, and to avoid any warping or distortion. All Objet materials can achieve high precision and accuracy, but the exceptional toughness and dimensional stability of our ABS-like material made it the ideal choice for the StreetScooter dashboard.”

Trade show appearances of the 3-D printed StreetScooter dashboard will include Industrie Paris 2012, scheduled for March 26-30, and the Hannover Messe from April 23-27.

A complete version of this story is available at PRW.com.