What you are looking at is AMIE (Additive Manufacturing integrated Energy). It’s a pairing between a 3D-printed house and a 3D-printed car. These are nothing new, Oak Ridge actually partnered with Local Motors to bring the first fully 3D-printed car last year. AMIE however, is a step forward in how the two can be connected.
Both the house and the car are electric, with the car getting an additional natural gas range extender. The two are are designed to work together in tandem. The house uses solar panels to take in energy for everyday things like lights and heat, while the car recharges itself from those same solar panels. Again, nothing new to the average Tesla owner.
What is new and ingenious is how the energy can be shared between them. According to the team, the car and the house share a technology that allows a bi-directional flow of energy between the two, wirelessly. Using the first Level 2 6.6-kilowatt system, the house and car share energy through an inductive process. This allows for a transfer of energy, over the air, if either the house or the car is running low.
Currently, AMIE is just a project for the science team at Oak Ridge, however, they have been discussing making the plans for both the car and the house open-source. Nevertheless, there aren’t that many individuals or even companies out there with a large enough 3D printer to build these complex machines, yet.
While the car looks like a Mad Max-type Jeep and only has a range of 35 miles, and the house is only 210 square feet, the AMIE project helps make another step in the right direction of 3D printing and how we may use electricity and this technology in the future.