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XponentialWorks last month announced a project with Arcimoto to 3D-print parts for its $19,900 electric “Fun Utility Vehicle” — with an initial effort lightweighting suspension components by more than a third.
“If successful, the new parts may take the place of heavier, regularly manufactured parts and may enable Arcimoto’s electric vehicles to drive farther distances on a single charge, improve acceleration, and deliver better handling – all while parts costs are reduced during production,” XponentialWorks wrote in a news release Jan. 21. “The lightweighted designs were made using artificial intelligence and computer generated design by ParaMatters.”
XponentialWorks described an upper control arm lightweighted by up to 52 percent (though a project description puts the amount far less), a knuckle reduced by up to 36 percent and a rear swing arm cut by up to 34 percent. It also shaved up to 49 percent of weight off a brake pedal.
The project description describes a one-piece cast-aluminum and 3D-printed rear swing arm weighing nearly 13.9 pounds — compared to a baseline mild-steel swing arm weighing more than 20.9 pounds and built from 11 pieces welded together.