A 3D printed car that cleans the air while driving

Students from Eindhoven University of Technology revealed their latest car, which is made using 3D printing technology, and which cleans the air while driving.

Every two years, students from Eindhoven design a state of the art sustainable car (read earlier stories here and here). This time, the result is Zem, a partly 3D printed electric car with solar panels and a CO2 filter.

The transport sector produces about a quarter of the EU’s total CO2 emissions, and passenger cars are responsible of more than 60% of these emissions. This inspired the Eindhoven students to create a car that does not only produce low emissions in the production process, but also reduces CO2 emissions while driving. The aim on the long term is to create a fully CO2 neutral car in all life phases.

For Zem, the students relied on additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) to create a car with the lowest CO2 emissions possible. The monocoque and body panels are fully 3D printed, resulting in nearly no waste.

The car is designed that most parts of the car are reusable or recyclable. In addition, they used recycled carbon black into the refinishing of Zem, which is made from old tires (find it in our library here).

The car is also outfitted with technology called ‘direct air capturing’. This is a fairly new method of cleaning the air by capturing CO2 into a filter. While driving, air moves through the in-house designed filters to capture CO2.

Inspired by the Lightyear One, a car featuring solar panels that will be released later this year, Zem also has bi-directional charging technology and paired with solar panels that are implemented on the roof of the car.

Photos: Bart van Overbeeke