Austrian design studio, EOOS, has developed a 3D-printed electric tricycle made from recycled plastic.
The zero-emissions utility vehicle (ZUV) is made from 70kg of waste collected from supermarkets and is strong enough to carry two adults or two children in the back seat.
The project started with the goal of designing an affordable vehicle that can be produced locally, and 3D printing offered this possibility. So the design studio imagined a polypropylene frame, printed on a large-format machine – similar to a robotic arm. The material used would come from the waste of Vienna’s supermarkets.
“When supermarket plastic in Vienna goes to recycling, they’re just burning it,” said Herald Gründl, EOOS
“And this creates another three tonnes of CO2 emissions, which we could avoid. The reuse of post-consumer plastics is a big step towards net-zero carbon emissions. Every new vehicle will be, in a way, carbon neutral as long as the 3D printer is operated with energy coming from renewables.”
According to the design studio, its goal is to enable each city to 3D print the tricycle’s chassis, while the rest of the parts (wheels, brakes, handlebars, motor) can be equipped in a local specialty store.
The concept of zero emissions lies more in the bike’s production rather than in its operation. Thanks to 3D printing, the frame can be manufactured locally, reducing transportation and the ecological impact of its production.