BASF is breaking new ground through their partnership with Citroën to create a new fully electric car concept – The Oli [all-ë]. This project is not about the fastest or most luxurious car but is a true testament to how much can be saved by reducing weight and resource usage to move towards a future of sustainable mobility. A minimalistic approach paved the way for a refreshing and innovative design with various components being radically reinterpreted and constructed using materials within a different context. The team was using plastics, coatings and 3D printing from BASF in a way that had never been done before, resulting in a truly innovative and unique design.
By asking questions such as: What are the requirements for a vehicle of the future? Is it enough to use eco-efficient materials? Or can entire components be eliminated? Can simplicity lead to greater efficiency as well as enhance aesthetics? In response to these queries, BASF pushed the limits by creating a vehicle concept that signals responsibility, withstands adventures, is multifunctional and enables an easy and joyful ride. Our plastics, coatings and 3D printing technology supported Citroën’s design vision, giving their ideas a bold, daring and always optimistic look and feel.
As part of this project, Forward AM contributed with the innovative lattice design that combined the worlds of both designers and engineers. The seats are a visionary highlight of the concept vehicle, as the task of creating a 3D-printed component of this size was a challenging experiment. Sculpteo, a brand of BASF, realized the seats along with twenty other parts for this project with Ultrasint® TPU88A. This innovative material was perfectly suited to generate the complex 3D-printed geometries needed for the seats that are both simultaneously very flexible as well as fully functional. As a result, the team succeeded in developing both a backrest as well as a headrest that follows the “one material” approach – meaning that many parts in the car interior are made from the same material family. By embracing this approach, mechanical recycling is made easier at the end of the product life cycle. While at the same time, the 3D printing process ensures low-waste production and a durable material for a long product life cycle
The vehicle seating concept was further enhanced by protecting the seats with an elastic waterborne coating Ultracur3D® Coat F+,resulting in stunning aesthetics and increased durability, allowing the material to withstand all the stresses of the surface. The utilization of Elastollan® to manufacture the seat as a whole, with no pretreatment or primer required even on the smoothed surfaces, eliminated the need for an additional outer layer of foam or leather therefore reducing the complexity of the seat assembly.
This project demonstrated that the innovative use of Ultrafuse® TPU 88A was the perfect fit for the design and production of seating within a car and confirmed the viability of similar applications across the manufacturing sector of the auto industry. With material benefits such as outstanding surface quality, excellent abrasion and scratch resistance, long-term durability, minimal VOC emissions as well as UV and heat stability, the opportunities to go beyond traditional manufacturing are endless.
Learn more about this collaborative project through several videos and interactive features at Citroën Concept Car (basf.com) and find out how BASF, Forward AM and Citroën are breaking new ground and working together to build a more sustainable future.