At the Geneva Motor Show this year EDAG Engineering showed off its Genesis Cockpit concept. Built with a 3D printing technique called "fused deposition modeling," it was a skeletal passenger cell suspended inside a protective shell. At next year's Geneva show EDAG will present another take on the natural forms combined with 3D printing with its Light Cocoon concept (click the image to enlarge).

Whereas the Genesis took inspiration from a turtle skeleton, the Light Cocoon tips its hat to the humble leaf - the tree kind, not the Nissan kind - by being a fabric membrane stretched over a skeletal structure. EDAG considers its creation the "ultimate in lightweight construction," its outer coating a waterproof fabric from Jack Wolfskin called Texapore Softshell that we're told is one-quarter the weight of copier paper. Making the most of the design, backlighting shows off the coupe's 'bones' underneath its skin.

Undoubtedly a neat concept, it reminds us of the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model from 2008, which had an opaque fabric covering stretched over metal and carbon fiber wires. Its aim was not only light weight and a take on new build processes, it was a shape-shifter; electrohydraulic actuators could rearrange its skeleton. We look forward to checking out the Light Cocoon next year, but we're more interested in seeing how EDAG would render its Genesis cockpit as a complete vehicle. EDAG's official press release with a few more details is below.
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"EDAG Light Cocoon": the ultimate in lightweight construction
Brilliant world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show 2015.


12/10/2014 - The "EDAG Light Cocoon" is not just a concept study of a compact, dynamic sports car, but also an unprecedented projection of the ultimate in future lightweight construction: a complete, bionically optimised vehicle structure combined with a weatherproof textile outer skin panel, which marks a new dimension for lightweight construction and automobile aesthetics: backlight technology illuminates the skeleton-like, organic structure, and brings the "EDAG Light Cocoon" to life.

Also involved in this extraordinary and visionary concept are outdoor specialists Jack Wolfskin. Their outdoor textile "Texapore Softshell" provides ideal weather protection for the "EDAG Light Cocoon".

Following the success of the EDAG GENESIS this spring, engineering specialists EDAG have expanded their vision of a bionically inspired body structure. In order to be able to implement bionic construction principles and natural strategies, additive manufacturing potential has also been put to use in the "EDAG Light Cocoon".

"We are pursuing the vision of sustainability – as demonstrated by nature: lightweight, efficient, and without any waste," explains EDAG's head designer, Johannes Barckmann. "The result: the 'EDAG Light Cocoon' presents a stable, branch-like load bearing structure from the 3D printer, which only uses material where it is absolutely necessary."

Instead of treating the body as a closed surface here, any material not actually needed for the special load cases was removed. EDAG's simulation experts carried out static and dynamic calculations for the basics of this topologically optimised ideal structure, and in this way helped to confirm its suitability as a potential lightweight concept.

The EDAG designers took a leaf as their inspiration for the ultimate, lightweight outer skin. Just as with a leaf, which has an ideal structure with a lightweight outer skin stretched over it, a textile skin covers the "EDAG Light Cocoon". In Jack Wolfskin, outdoor specialists, the ideal project partner was found to supply a tried and tested stretch fabric that is also extremely weatherproof, to serve as the new outer body skin. "Even if it sounds futuristic to begin with, this approach has a its own special appeal: weighing no more than 19 g/m², the Jack Wolfskin material supports maximum lightweight design requirements with minimum weight.

To give you a comparison: this extremely strong material is four times lighter than standard copier paper," points out EDAG CTO Jörg Ohlsen. "Combined with the topologically optimised, additively manufactured structure, it offers enormous potential and stimulus for the ultimate lightweight construction of the future."

"EDAG Light Cocoon": the ultimate in lightweight construction based on nature's example!


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