3D printing solutions help launch ‘e-floater’ electric scooter

1 min read

A German start-up business, Floatility, has used both Stratasys PolyJet and FDM 3D printing technologies to develop a first-of-its-kind, lightweight, solar-powered, electric scooter.

With the objective to ‘redefine the modern way of travelling in cities’, the ‘e-floater’ scooter houses an electric-motor and drives on three wheels, enabling users to stand upright and ride freely without physical exertion. As an ‘intelligent’ vehicle, the e-floater is also able to communicate to its owner in real time where it is located and the condition it is in.

In order to meet the product’s launch date of November, Floatility utilised both Stratasys FDM and PolyJet 3D printing technologies throughout the product development phase to create a working prototype.

“The need to build prototypes that exactly resembled the final product and that would enable us to test everything thoroughly was vital to the successful launch of this product,” said Oliver Risse, Floatility’s founder. “3D printing was essential in this regard as it allowed the team to physically test the design and concept of e-floater as if it were the final product.

“This not only sped up the product development cycle, but dramatically reduced our product development costs,” he added.

As well as improved time and cost efficiencies, the decision to use multiple Stratasys 3D printing technologies was also based on the capability to combine different materials in one print, which enabled the prototype versions to comprise both soft and hard materials.

According to Risse, the less favourable alternative would have been to use silicon moulding to create the prototype. “This was not ideal for a number of reasons,” he explained. “Not only would it have entailed an assembly of up to 20 parts, but the costs would have been significantly higher and the production time would have been double to that achievable with 3D printing.”

Andy Middleton, president, Stratasys EMEA, concluded: “The e-floater is a perfect example of how 3D printing enables designers and inventors to turn their concepts into fully-operational products quickly and cost-effectively.”