Oct 4, 2016 | By Alec

Everything is bigger in America, but smaller is a lot more convenient on the other side of the Pacific in Japan. A very mountainous and populous country, roads, homes and cars are necessarily small to accommodate everything. A big American truck would simply be highly impractical in the land of the rising sun. It’s therefore hardly surprising that the first 3D printed car developed in Japan would also be on the smaller size, though who would’ve expected this? Kabuku and Honda have teamed to 3D print a very small delivery vehicle for the confectionery specialists Toshimaya, optimally using what little space is available.

Of course 3D printed cars have been topping every list of fantastic 3D printing breakthroughs for some time, with Arizona-based Local Motors and their world’s first road-ready 3D printed car leading the way. But many other prominent car manufacturers are also using 3D printers in one way or another, especially as prototyping tools. Just take a look at this overview of car-related 3D printing projects that are ongoing right now.

In that respect, it’s hardly surprising that Honda is looking at 3D printing as well. Specifically, they teamed up with Kabuku – the innovative startup behind Rinkak. In a nutshell, this 3D printing specialist provides an online marketplace that lets makers upload their 3D printable designs and sells them directly to consumers everywhere. It’s also one of the most significant 3D printing hubs in Japan and East Asia, and therefore a perfect partner for such a project.

While very little data (aside from a few photos) is available right now, the two companies revealed that they will be showcasing a remarkable creation at CEATEC JAPAN later this week. The event is scheduled to be held from 4 October to 7 October at the Makuhari Messe in the Chiba Prefecture, and the remarkable 3D printed car visible here will doubtlessly be the biggest eye catcher.

The two companies further revealed that Kabuku, understandably, designed and 3D printed the car’s body, with Honda presumably taking care of the mechanical dimension. And unlike other 3D printed cars out there, this vehicle has been designed with a very specific purpose in mind: delivery. Confectionery specialist Toshimaya, headquartered in Kamakura, has been seeking to challenge delivery services with a special type of vehicle that can overcome the limitations of the narrow streets in the Kamakura region. It also needed to be a very attractive advertising opportunity, and a tiny 3D printed car will doubtlessly turn heads wherever it goes.

That is, in a nutshell, what Honda and Kabuku provided. The 3D printed mini-car was cheaper to build than conventional alternatives, and is perfectly suited for its delivery task. Kabuku reportedly relied on Rinkak’s mass-customization solutions and rapid 3D design platform to build the vehicle in just two months, much quicker than completely new non-3D printed cars. Kabuku has already said that they are planning to build further upon the same factory network that produced this vehicle – though more will doubtlessly be revealed during the CEATEC JAPAN convention later this week. But one thing is certain: bigger is not always better.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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toto wrote at 10/7/2016 3:48:12 PM:

it can go to water (flood in towns) ?

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