A Swedish designer by the name of Erik Melldahl has teamed with BMW to introduce a 3D-printed concept vehicle named Maasaica — stemming from Latin word for the lion species in Kenya, Panthera Leo Masaica. Although this next-gen car is still likely a couple of decades away, the concept certainly brings clever futuristic ideas and alternative designs to the forefront.
“Imagine a third industrial revolution where sustainable energy and manufacturing set the standards for production. Maasaica is a concept from BMW which is locally built in Serengeti using 3D printing technology, degradable materials and traditional handcraft,” expained Melldahl.
“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. However, Massaica doesn’t give all the answers to how to produce and design sustainable car, but is a step in the right direction on how the automotive industry can contribute to a more sustainable society.”
The vehicle, which could one day be locally constructed in the Serengeti, uses 3D printing and degradable materials to demonstrate the various ways that the automotive industry could take part of the 3rd new sustainable industrial revolution. Melldahl believes this can be accomplished by taking advantage of traditional craftmanship, new manufacturing methods and existing African mentality of up cycling.
“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.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen BMW associated in 3D printing. As recently covered in Bits & Pieces, BMW has reportedly begun 3D printing a limited number of flexible finger cots for production line workers to prevent excess strain on thumb joints.