Rinspeed debuts MetroSnap electric vehicle concept with 3D printed parts

Swiss automobile manufacturer Rinspeed has a unique vision for the future of cars, one driven by modularity and efficiency. At this year’s CES, the forward-thinking company is showcasing its latest concept vehicle, the MetroSnap, an electric and modular vehicle with 3D printed parts that can fulfill multiple functions.

The vehicle, like Rinspeed’s previous Snap and microSNAP concept vehicles, is based on the company’s innovative concept in which the chassis and body are separated, enabling the body of the vehicle to be swapped out. The patent-pending swappable system enables users to use the electric vehicle for multiple functions, whether it be transporting people or goods.

One of the uses Rinspeed highlights for its MetroSnap concept is parcel delivery. As the company explains, the vehicle could be used to drop off whole parcel stations in a particular neighbourhood for a certain period of time. “Limited business hours, long drives and the endless and unpopular courier caravans are thus things of the past,” Rinspeed writes. “No more unattended packages, no more thefts and failed delivery attempts—and no more associated pollution and traffic burden.”

The electric vehicle is powered by batteries that are “split” between the removable vehicle body (the Pod) and the chassis (Skateboard). This unique approach makes it more efficient to charge the MetroSnap’s battery, as it can be charged while the Pod is loaded or cleaned.

The MetroSnap also integrates a number of smart technologies and systems, which were contributed by Rinspeed partners. For instance, the concept car was designed by Switzerland-based 4erC and constructed by Esoro.

3D printing giant Stratasys also supplied a number of 3D printed parts for the MetroSnap’s interior and exterior construction, including interior consoles, plug sockets fixtures, display frames, air vents and license plates. Over 30 components for the MetroSnap were 3D printed using Stratasys’ FDM and PolyJet technologies.

Other partners, including Barlog Group, Clean Energy Global and Eberspächer, contributed to the MetroSnap’s electric mobility functions. Rinspeed also enlisted the services and products of Harting, MHP, SAP, ESG Mobility, Borbet, Ibeo Automotive Systems, Osram and many more.

Rinspeed debuted its innovative and modular MetroSnap vehicle in Las Vegas yesterday, where it is being showcased as part of CES 2020.

Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault moved from her home of Montreal, Canada to the Netherlands in 2014 to pursue a master’s degree in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. It was during her time in Amsterdam that she became acquainted with 3D printing technology and began writing for a local additive manufacturing news platform. Now based in France, Tess has over two and a half years experience writing, editing and publishing additive manufacturing content with a particular interest in women working within the industry. She is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM industry.

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