While auto companies have been implementing 3D printing for prototyping purposes for a few time, its use for creating end parts will be increasingly adopted by industries across the board. That day is slowly dawning, as additional firms attempt to find components which can be 3D printed for their car models. Often times, this is limited to non-critical parts, often framing the use of 3D printing as additional of a marketing tool than a useful technology. That appears to be the case in Kia’s latest concept car, the Kia Telluride, being presented at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Kia’s three-row, seven-passenger, luxury SUV concept is created to be roomy, effortless, and technologically-focused. The concept car has a few less amazing, but yet unique showcases, like 90 degree swinging doors and fold-away footrests. More informative are the smart sensors embedded within the seats which monitor a rider’s significant health info, displayed on door panel screens. An LED panel mounted at a lower place the overdimensionsd sunroof displays what the company describes as “a pattern of therapeutic light to treat desynchronosis (jetlag) and improve the passengers’ energy levels.” The Telluride’s Swipe Command interface is a touch-sensitive command console for selecting media and wirelessly charging a set of Harman Kardon® headphones contained within. And a compartment in the front of the SUV in addition allows for for wireless cell phone charging.
Other showcases include the huge dimensions of the thing and LED lights for the headlamps and indicatore lights, as well as a PHEV powertrain, a 3.5-liter gasoline direct injected (GDI) V6 engine, and an electric motor, allowing it to complete 30 mpg on the highway and produce 270 horsepower of the V6 and 130 of the electric motor.
Finally, 3D printing comes into play in the Telluride’s dashboard, door panels, and steering wheel, making this the initial use of 3D printing for end parts by Kia. The company has not yet explained the purpose of 3D printing these components – whether it allowed for lighter mass parts or unique shapes, etc. – but simply say which they “add a distinct, modern design element” to the auto. I’ve reached out to the company for additional details and will hopefully be able-bodied to update this article after I hear back.
Not certain of you, but it’s hard to ponder of the Telluride as being which cutting edge when it yet runs partially on gas and has a 3D printed steering wheel, but I can easily say which Kia’s description of the SUV concept as “anything but a utopian fantasy” is definitely untrue. Maybe I’m simply bummed which David Bowie is dead. Still, 30 mpg and carrying seven folks appears like nothing when Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Car was able-bodied to get 30 mpg in 1933 and he was designing, not for profit, but to meet the needs of at any time man on planet Earth.