Swedish startup STILRIDE has created a process to use industrial origami to fold recycled steel into electric scooters. You read that right. The goal is to create a more sustainable way of manufacturing vehicles. The result is one of the most innovative and disruptive things in the manufacturing or auto industry in recent years. STILRIDE combines origami folding techniques — an ancient art and science in Japan that can create all kinds of products through intricate folding — with laser cutting and industrial robotics.

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A scooter against a black background.

The electric scooter is called the STILRIDE SUS1 prototype, and it’s ready for test drives. STILRIDE founder Tue Beijer is an industrial designer who was in the auto industry for 20 years before founding this startup. With managing director and co-founder Jonas Nyvang and a team in Sweden, Beijer wants to build the world’s most sustainable and stylish electric scooter.

Related: This chic, wooden electric scooter is carved from chestnut

An illustration of metal being folded using industrial origami.

“We strongly believe in the electrification of personal mobility and see the need for a new breed of mid-range commuting vehicle made in harmony with nature,” Beijer said.

Industrial origami can create clean-energy-powered personal mobility vehicles through sustainable production techniques. The startup wants to challenge the traditional manufacturing methods by using origami folding to make the most of metal’s characteristics and geometric nature.

Plans for a scooter.

The company began as part of the Metalliska research program, coordinated by Jernkontoret and funded by The Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova. According to the designers, the LIGHT.FOLD technique was years in the making, during which time they experimented with taking steel sheets as raw material through the industrial origami process using a proprietary technology.

A metal scooter against a white background.

Now, several Swedish industrial and technology companies are joining the project to find additional uses for the production technology. Partners include product development company Semcon, steel engineering workshop Brantheim, research institute RISE IVF and global stainless steel manufacturer Outokumpu. The partnerships have resulted in the STILRIDE SUS1 having sustainable and efficient batteries, a top-of-the-line electronic motor, and other innovative tech features.


Via DesignBoom

Images via STILRIDE