German automotive supplier EDAG unveiled a new concept car inspired by a turtle. Showcased at the Geneva Motor Show, the Genesis’ frame is designed to demonstrate the potential of 3D printing or additive manufacturing. A turtle skeleton is incredibly strong and by mirroring the shape of the animal’s shell, the EDAG concept car provides a strong level of protection for its passenger.
There’s only one catch: EDAG says that the internal frame that mimics the turtle’s shape can only be produced using large-scale 3D printing. The concept shows what the future of automotive design could look like with the adoption of 3D-printing and the greater use of carbon fiber and plastic.
According to EDAG, the Genesis concept car “can be seen as a symbol of the new freedoms that additive manufacturing processes will open up to designers and engineers in development and production. Additive manufacturing will make it possible to come a great deal closer to the construction principles and strategies of nature. Developed functionally and evolutionarily into optimized structures from which man can learn. And the entire process is tool-free, resource-saving and eco-friendly.”
Although EDAG believes that we are at least 10 years away from a fully 3D-printed car, it expects that some parts of a car, like its rear view mirrors for example, could be made using 3D printing technology within the next two years. Until then, it can at least be used to produce customized parts for customers as buyers can upload their own designs, print them and custom fit them to their own car.