PLA based Noah becomes world's first recyclable car - 3D Printing Industry

PLA based Noah becomes world’s first recyclable car

3D printing has been used in the development of Noah the “world’s first circular car.” The 2018 product of a longstanding project at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU Eindhoven), Noah is an electric car built as a demonstration of future, greener car manufacturing.

Noah was created by the university’s TU/Ecomotive team. As a proof of concept, prototype components for the vehicle have been 3D printed in collaboration with Oceanz, a professional 3D printing service and supplier in the Netherlands.

Made of a PLA/flax sandwich

Noah’s chassis will be built by panels made of a honeycomb PLA/flax sandwich. Together, the plastics make a biocomposite material, meaning that can still be fully recycled when the car can no longer be used.

Additionally, the body and interior of the car will be made from biobased materials. In total Around 90% of the materials used to make Noah will be sustainably sourced.

When completed, Noah will weigh 350 kilograms. At top speed it will be capable of reaching 100 km/h (62 mph). On a single charge, the batteries have a range of around 240 km (149 miles).

A sample 3D printed biocomposite panel that will be used to make Noah's chassis. Photo via TU/Ecomotive
A sample 3D printed biocomposite panel that will be used to make Noah’s chassis. Photo via TU/Ecomotive

A new era of sustainable design 

Oceanz EcoPowder, in an EOS P 760 system, was used to make some of Noah’s 3D printed concept parts. By using additive manufacturing, the TU/Ecomotive team also cuts down on the amount of material wastage in comparison with traditional prototyping techniques, like milling.

Frank Elbersen, sales engineer at Oceanz, comments, “3D printing contributes to a very sustainable production technique,”

“With this group of students we are faced with a new era. We like to work with these trendsetters. With their knowledge, we will be able to inform our customers further.”

Frank Elbersen from Oceanz stands besides the TU/Ecomotive team and a clay model of the Noah car. Photo via Oceanz
Frank Elbersen from Oceanz stands besides the TU/Ecomotive team and a clay model of the Noah car. Photo via Oceanz

The future of cars

At large car manufacturers, 3D printing is predominantly used in trial, spare parts and repair initiatives. Recently, Mercedes-Benz Trucks unveiled its first metal 3D printed replacement parts.

Other companies also cite the technology in the development of their plans for future autonomous vehicles.

The next stage for the TU/Ecomotive is to get Noah a license plate and prove that it is road safe. By July 2018 the eco-friendly two seater should be able to hit the road.

Is Noah an award winning application? Make your nominations, before they close next week, in the 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards now.

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Fancy trying your hand at another innovative design concept? Protolabs is sponsoring the 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards design competition. Submit your 3D model and be in with a chance of attending this year’s annual dinner and winning a 3D printer.

Featured image shows a concept graphic of the Noah electric car. Image via TU/Ecomotive

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