Engineering firm Scaled has used lockdown to get Europe's first 3D printed electric vehicle ready for trials.
Based at the Rushy Platt Industrial Estate in Swindon, David Speight and Bob Bradley have been using this tricky time to move towards their vision of being able to create a fully-functioning electric vehicle for a single passenger using large scale 3D printing technology.
The Chameleon is now available for driving demonstrations.
“We hope to offer a viable alternative for those situations where a functional, sustainable electrical vehicle is attractive," said Bob.
"Using this technology it can also be adapted to a wide variety of different needs. Our prototype can achieve speeds of up to 45 mph and we have also used high-strength recycled plastic which is an additional environmental benefit to the electric vehicle aspect. In theory it should be possible to manufacture ecological light vehicles from materials that are currently dealt with as waste.”
The team know that this type of vehicle won’t be suitable for everyone, however they believe it will work for multiple circumstances including:
- The person who doesn’t need to drive long distances.
- The person who lives alone or who has access to another vehicle for family use.
- The person who needs to use a company vehicle for short journeys during working hours.
- Security firms who need to patrol in a defined area or around a defined site.
- Short distance passenger transport eg. from airports or train stations to city centres.
- Staff who need to move between multiple buildings across a large site.
David said: “Using this technology it can also be adapted to many, many different needs. Our prototype can achieve speeds of up to 45 mph and we have also used recycled plastic which is strong which helps the circular economy because it means plastics can be recycled and used to create a long-lasting vehicle.”
The vehicle was created on the team’s Chameleon Platform which is a manufacturing cell, including robotics. Scaled was set up five years ago as a tech start-up to give the UK market access to large scale 3D printing.
Pictured: Bob Bradley and David Speight with the Chameleon