German engineering firm EDAG isn’t the first company to design a vehicle inspired by nature, but few other brands have taken the premise so literally.The Fulda automaker has just announced its ‘Light Cocoon’ sports car, which uses a leaf-life membrane stretched over a featherweight skeletal structure. The two-door’s backlit appearance gives it a look that’s part scaly reptile and part cracked sandstone, but according to the group, the goal is truly lightweight construction.Outdoor apparel supplier Jack Wolfskin designed the car’s weatherproof skin, called Texapore Softshell, and claims the textile is four times lighter than standard copy paper.The car’s bionic structure could revolutionize the way cars are made, as it uses a 3D printing process that eliminates any material not needed for load-bearing purposes. There are obvious safety concerns with this style of production, but EDAG’s concept is more about experimentation and discovery than on-road practicality.The material reportedly weighs 19g per square metre and is four times lighter than standard copier paper. The skeleton and skin-like fabric is back-lit, illuminating the two-seater concept, which also features glass doors.EDAG’s head designer Johannes Barckmann states the lightweight concept is primarily designed to provide the necessary strength with the minimal amount of material required.
“We are pursuing the vision of sustainability – as demonstrated by nature: lightweight, efficient and without any waste,” he said “The EDAG Light Cocoon presents a stable, branch-like, load-bearing structure from the 3D printer, which uses material only where it is absolutely necessary. “