The LOCI Podcar: A Fully 3D Printed Last-Mile Transportation Solution

Last-mile transportation solutions have quickly become a global sensation, filling in holes left by personal-vehicle focused urban planning. Unfortunately, present solutions have tended to lean on the expensive side, depending on traditional manufacturing for regular vehicle replacements, or are implemented inefficiently, inviting a wave of legislation banning eye-sore vehicles carelessly abandoned around city centers.

BigRep’s LOCI Podcar offers an effective, accessible and sustainable mobility solution as a fully 3D printed, autonomous electric last-mile transportation solution.

BigRep’s innovation consultancy, NOWLAB, who also created the NERA eMotorcycle – a fully 3D printed electric motorcycle and viral sensation – presented the LOCI at Formnext 2019 as a design prototype. The 100% 3D printed podcar tackles transportation challenges at a local level, offering effective adaptability for any application in any country around the world instead of a globally cut and pasted solution.

To emphasize the LOCI’s adaptability, BigRep presented the prototype along with two additional redesign concepts: the physical prototype on the show floor a campus transportation vehicle created for Berlin, with concepts for a Dubai airport transportation vehicle and a San Francisco urban commuter solution.

Because it’s a fully 3D printed solution, the manufacturing of LOCI Podcar’s is local, accessible and scalable. Production of the podcars can begin with a single BigRep large-format 3D printer and scale with additional units to meet demand as it increases. Not only does this ensure both a low barrier to entry and that manufacturing infrastructure isn’t overinvested in prematurely but also that production can be highly reactive and delivered with unprecedented speed.

BigRep is no stranger to additive applications in the automotive industry. Having already partnered with Ford Motor Company to develop additive applications on the assembly line, we’ve found incredible results in speeding production processes, testing, and more with additive on the production floor. Ford has participated in the development cycle of the BigRep PRO, providing feedback and request from their experience with large-format additive to help create the best industrial additive manufacturing system on the market for demanding applications like automotive.

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Because of the LOCI’s adaptability, it’s highly functional in last-mile consumer applications and an enticing investment for businesses. Aside from typical last-mile functions like campus, airport and commuter transportation, BigRep’s vision for the LOCI includes highly practical scenarios like grocery delivery – allowing shoppers to easily forgo their combustion-engine vehicles in favor of an accessible electric vehicle readily offered by businesses.

Both additive manufacturing and local production are also promising features for the vehicle’s maintenance. The LOCI Podcar takes advantage of these opportunities for efficient vehicle upkeep with new BigRep Part DNA™ technology, which involves embedding NFC chips into 3D printed parts as an identification resource. The chips are scanned with any compatible device to instantly identify parts and request replacements or remodels. In the future, the chips will be integrated with sensors to monitor part status and provide maintenance or replacement information sometimes before users are aware a replacement is necessary – simply scan the part and order a replacement locally.

The LOCI prototype is built with just 14 unique parts and measures just 85cm x 146cm x 285cm, with the largest single part measuring 1000 x 600 x 700 mm. All parts were printed with a BigRep PRO, BigRep Studio G2, or BigRep ONE additive system. The podcar showcases the possibilities of 3D printing and engineering-grade filaments for industrial manufacturing: The body was printed with BigRep’s PRO HT, for the airless tires designers opted for TPU, the bumpers were created with PLX, and beams and joints with PA6/66. All these materials are opensource, compatible with any matching diameter FFF 3D printer (including desktop) and available for purchase through BigRep’s Online Shop.

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The LOCI is just the most recent of BigRep’s incredible innovations with additive technology. Find out about other incredible 3D printing achievements from NOWLABS, BigRep’s innovation consultancy, on the BigRep website.

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LOCI at a glance

Technical Specs:

  • Overall Dimensions: 85cm x 146cm x 285cm
  • Number of parts: 14 main parts with additional inserts
  • Largest part: 1000 x 600 x 700 mm
  • Printed with BigRep PRO, BigRep Studio G2, BigRep ONE

Print Materials: Body: PRO HT / Tires: TPU / Bumpers: PLX / Beams and Joints: PA6/66

Additional Features:

  • Electric power / Touch screen media display
  • Surround sound audio / Wireless phone/device charging / LED lighting / TPU airless tires
  • BigRep Part DNA™ technology

Team Credits:

Co-Founder NOWLAB, BigRep CIO: Daniel Buening
Lead Designer: Marco Mattia Cristofori
Design Team: Mirek Claßen, Lindsay Lawson, Tobias Storz, Angelo Vannicola, Marco Backenhaus
Marketing and Creative: Amir Fattal
San Francisco and Dubai Concept Design: Marco Traverso

About BigRep
BigRep develops the world’s largest serial production 3D printers, creating the industry benchmark for large-scale printing with the aim to reshape manufacturing. Its award-winning, German-engineered machines are establishing new standards in speed, reliability and efficiency. BigRep’s printers are the preferred choice of engineers, designers and manufacturers at leading companies in the industrial, automotive and aerospace sectors. Through collaborations with its strategic partners – including Bosch Rexroth, Etihad Airways and Deutsche Bahn – and key investors – including BASF, Koehler, Klöckner and Körber – BigRep continues to develop complete solutions for integrated additive manufacturing systems, as well as a wide range of printing materials on an open-choice source. Founded in 2014, BigRep is headquartered in Berlin with offices in Boston and Singapore. Leading the way in one of the world’s key technologies, our multinational engineering teams are highly trained, interdisciplinary and customer-focused.

For additional information, please contact:
To arrange an interview with BigRep’s executive management or NOWLAB team, and for more information on BigRep and its solutions, please contact:
Jürgen Scheunemann
PR & Communications BigRep GmbH
T: +49 30 9487 1430
E: [email protected]

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