Honda has teamed up with 3D printing specialists Kabuku, to unveil a micro commuter vehicle at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) in Japan.
Described as one of the largest products produced in Japan using 3D printing technology, the short range ‘Micro Commuter’ electric vehicle was developed for use by Japanese confectionery maker Toshimaya, and is based on an open innovation model which incorporates the idea of a variable design platform.
Toshimaya’s head office is in Kamakura where the narrow local roads present a challenge for their home delivery service. The company had been using a standard vehicle because the cost of developing a bespoke delivery vehicle had seemed prohibitive.
The chassis was constructed from Honda’s rigid but lightweight pipe frame structure, while 3D printing techniques were used to create the exterior panels and luggage space.
The Micro Commuter is powered by Honda’s Micro EV technology, designed for short-range trips of up to approximately 50 miles and is used on the MC- β ultra compact EV in Japan. It differs from other examples of Honda micro EVs in providing occupant space solely for the driver with all other space dedicated to the transportiation of sweet treats.
Unveiled at CEATEC Japan 2016, the vehicle will make local deliveries of Toshiyama’s most famous product, a dove shaped shortbread called ‘Hato sablé’.