The Japanese auto manufacturer has developed an innovative fully functional concept car made of cardboards!
Steel is the most prominent component in the car industry. Indeed, the average car was made of as much as 1,090 kilograms of steel in 2007. Whether it is for roof, doors, and other parts of the body, this metal has provided a solid and cheap option to car manufacturers. Nevertheless, it has suffered from the rise of lighter substitutes over the past decades, the most striking example being aluminium (have a look at http://snip.ly/0Amh for more details). Very recently, Lexus has shown that another material can creatively be used as a substitute by building a fully functional prototype made of… Cardboard!
Indeed, the Japanese automotive manufacturer succeeded in creating a replica of its IS saloon model without any glass, sheet metal nor plastics, by using around 1,700 uniquely shaped cardboard sheets. This “origami” version has replicated the whole interior of the IS, and can even be driven thanks to an electric motor placed on a steel and aluminium frame. Every cardboard was assembled with the rest of the car by hand with the help of a water-based wood glue. This project required patience, and the prototype had to be left untouched for around ten minutes after each glue application. As a result, LaserCut Works and Scale and Models – the two companies involved in Lexus’ project – took three months to finish this unique concept, with five employees taking care of the digital design, modeling, laser cutting and assembly.
The biggest challenge of the cardboard Lexus? The seats and the wheels, which had to be refined several times to obtain a satisfactory result. Obviously, the designers had to proceed to “trials and errors”, as this one-of-a-kind attempt has never been undertaken earlier. Anyway, if you want to see how it looks like in real, be aware that the “origami” concept is currently exhibited in the Grand Designs Live event at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham until the 11th of October.
Even though this idea does not lack of originality, it is more than unlikely to challenge steel, aluminium and other classical metal components needed for the structure of mass-production cars. Such metals can be found under various forms at Shanghai Metal Corporation, one of the leading businesses in the manufacturing of metalworking industry. We can produce and export the best quality of aluminum, steel and other metal products, keeping an eye on manufacturing efficiency and environmental sustainability.
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