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“La Bandita" Concept Car Designed in VR, Developed with AI, and Manufactured by a 3D Printer

Editor: Alexander Stark

When combining virtual reality, artificial intelligence and 3D printing off-the-shelf cars can be replaced by self-designed and manufactured vehicles. The concept car "La Bandita" shows the possibilities of a modern technology mix.

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Hackrod wants to change car manufacturing by using modern technologies.
Hackrod wants to change car manufacturing by using modern technologies.
(Source: Hackrod)

It sounds crazy: customers put on virtual reality glasses, design their personal, tailor-made car on a software platform with the help of artificial intelligence, and have it completely manufactured by an industrial 3D printer.

The "La Bandita" concept car from Hackrod, an American start-up company, shows what will soon be possible. Since it hardly ever rains in California, their creators were able to design "La Bandita" in the style of classic, open speedster — a reminiscence of old racing cars like the Mercedes Silver Arrow. An electric drive from Tesla ensures rapid propulsion.

The young company wants to fundamentally change the way cars are manufactured and "democratize" the entire process — Hackrod speaks quite boldly of a completely new manufacturing paradigm. To this end, Hackrod successfully carried out a crowdfunding campaign and brought none other than Siemens on board as a supporter. With its "Digital Innovation Platform", the German conglomerate wants to accelerate the design and production process.

Siemens Contributes Software and Cloud Platform

The beautiful "La Bandita" on a scale of 1:1: is a "Proof of Concept". Both the frame and the chassis of the Speedster are made of aluminium and manufactured in a generative process. Siemens provides Hackrod with several design and engineering tools for its PLM software, including NX software and the new cloud-based collaboration portal Solid Edge. Hackrod also claimed that they had access to the latest tools and could design, test and manufacture products quickly without requiring their own industrial infrastructure and expensive production facilities.

"On our platform, we use virtual reality as a design tool as well as industrial IoT networking and machine learning to continuously optimize our development systems," explains Dr. Slade Gardner, Hackrod's Chief Technology Officer. Finally, an industrial 3D format printer builds the vehicle on the basis of the acquired data. This allows for the combination of aesthetic design, reliable development, modern manufacturing processes and immediate quality management.

"Hackrod's vision for automotive design is an exciting and unique use of our design and engineering software," says Bob Haubrock, Senior Vice President of Siemens PLM Software. “The approach corresponds exactly to Siemens' vision for future production.”

This article was first published by Next Mobility.

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