Dec 18, 2014 | By Simon

By definition, open source as a development model enables universal access via a license or restriction-free product design or blueprint, meaning that anybody can improve upon the design or make it their own.

So far we've heard of open source software, open source hardware, open source video games and open source web pages... but we haven't necessarily heard much about an open source car.

Tired of an aging industry that's not sustainable and lacking innovation outside of a closed business model, Tin Hang Liu, whose father worked in the automotive industry, saw potential in an open source car after meeting some pioneers of the Open Source Hardware.

Aiming to bridge the gap between the automotive industry and the ethos of open source product development, Tin has spent the last 8 years assembling a team of engineers and designers to further develop the concept into what is now known as OSVehicle.

With requests from more than 80 countries and hundreds of projects being based off of the open source platform, OSVehicle is proving to be a startup to watch as an increasing amount of millennials turn away from vehicle ownership in favor of other (and more affordable) options.

Currently, the company is hoping to move open source software into connected cars, but previously, their efforts have been focused on creating an open source 3D printed car chassis.

The first component of their open source platform, TABBY, is aimed at being an open source, modular universal chassis design that enables designers, engineers, hobbyists and others to create any type of vehicle off of its base construction.

Among other benefits, the TABBY has obliterated the need for large manufacturing facilities; the assembly of one of their chassis' takes less than 45 minutes after the parts have been 3D printed and can be completed in one room rather than a full-scale production facility. Additionally, the TABBY is able to be shipped in small and optimized kits that can be assembled locally if the printing is done off-site.

Understanding that not everybody has access to a 3D printer or the know-how to assemble a road-ready chassis, OSVehicle has developed open source solutions for both those who prefer to take the DIY route and create their own or those who prefer assistance.

"Indeed, while with the Do It Yourself process you can download the 3D files, buy the kits, and work on them autonomously," they claim on their website. "With the Do It Together approach, customers can build a relationship with the OSV team – with a long experience in designing and building commercial vehicles – to receive support in any step, from prototyping to production."

While the TABBY will get you started with the platform, the Urban TABBY includes everything you need to make what they are calling a 'road ready' TABBY that includes certified parts that are customizable per your liking:

Whether you want to just explore the 3D car models or are more serious about creating your own 3D printed car, OSVehicle has provided all of the necessary file downloads to get you started over at their website.

Just remember to buckle up!

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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