Jan 11, 2016 | By Alec

The automobile industry is increasingly waking up to the potential of 3D printing technology, in part due to its quick prototyping abilities, and perhaps also in part due to Local Motors’ excellent work with 3D printing cars. Various big names in the car manufacturing world have begun adopting 3D printers as basic prototyping tools, but Kia is now already set to take things to the next level. In anticipation of this week’s Detroit Auto Show, the South Korean manufacturer has revealed that the upcoming Kia Telluride – a new large SUV concept – will feature an interior partially realized with high quality 3D printers.

Car enthusiasts everywhere were already somewhat surprised that Kia returned to the SUV concept, which they abandoned back in 2011 (anyone remember the Borrego/Mohave?), but we are obviously mostly interested in the 3D printed components embedded into this SUV. Named after a town in Colorado known for skiing resorts and a picturesque mountain view, the Telluride is especially about reaching a new level of technological excellence. “[The Telluride] pushes the boundaries of technology and luxury with unique in-cabin health-and-wellness technology,” the South Korean engineers revealed. “[It steers] Kia’s design language in a bold new direction”.

3D printed parts are thus just one new element car fans can look forward to, and Kia has revealed that these parts will add a distinct and modern flair to areas such as the dashboard, the door panels and the steering wheel. However, the wording has been kept as vague as possible, leaving it unclear whether or not the final vehicles will feature 3D printed parts or just parts designed through 3D printing technology. It is, however, expected that the car showcased at the Detroit Auto Show will feature 3D printed components.

What is clear is that high quality 3D printing technologies will be used, featuring machines that ‘sprays’ sintered plastics into layers before hardening them using photovoltaic light lasers. Kia adds that this technology has already proven capable of creating high quality, precise parts capable of withstanding the necessary stress (while also shaving a lot of time from development), so why not actually 3D print the parts?

The Kia Borrego/Mohave (depending on where you live), the previous Kia SUV model.

In short, much can be expected of the Kia Telluride, which will doubtlessly wow SUV lovers everywhere. Kia has further revealed that the car will be absolutely crammed with technology and luxury, including a “unique in-cabin health-and-wellness technology”.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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