BMW has come up with something interesting, combining 3D printing technology with ecology. They’ve been working together with Swedish architect Erik Melldahl to design what they’ve called Maaisaica, a 3D printed BMW car, which uses degradable materials. It was built in Sarengeti in Africa and Melldahl got his inspiration from the Maaisai culture as well as new ways of manufacturing.
They’ve created a concept, which has to go to the Maasai tribe in Serengeti. The striking thing is that this car uses lots of degradable materials. The main body of the car is made of a mixture of mycelium mushrooms and grass and this is grown on top of a 3D printed structure. In only a few days, this degradable structure can be printed. The vehicle uses a membrane, which collects fog during the night and creates a self-sufficient system to cool the motor and greenhouse. This water can also be used to collect water for nearby villages.
On his website, Melldahl explains the project is about improving society:
“The intention with Maasaica was to do a concept, which will leave questions and thoughts about how to best design a sustainable, locally produced car. Another aim with the project was to question the methods and ideas of the conservative automotive industry. As designers we have a great opportunity to influence a product early in the process. However, one can also see it as we have a great responsibility to do our best to design products for a better society. That is what Massaica is about.”
The car gets its energy from the sun and uses solar panels to collect as much sunshine as needed for the average use of the car. However, this car is not expected to be made before 2040, because the world is not that far yet, technology-wise.
Image credits: BMW/ Erik Melldahl.