World’s First 3D Printed Supercar Reinventing The Automotive Industry
In the future you will be able to personalise your car and it will be made for you in a matter of days – without an extensive supply chain providing the parts. It may be designed and built in a single workshop. This is where Divergent Microfactories sees the global car industry heading.
The company made international headlines when it unveiled a 522 kilowatt supercar using a 3D printer. The Blade, a sleek low-sling single seater with beautiful curves and giant air intakes, has a bi-fuel (using gas and compressed natural gas) turbocharged four cylinder engine which is capable of reaching 100 kilometres per hour in 2.2 seconds which puts it amongst the fastest cars on the planet.
The Blade is the vision of CEO Kevin Czinger who identified that the processes of making car components are much more harmful than what comes out of the exhaust pipe. He decided to “replace planet destroying technology with planet saving technology”. To create a car with the smallest possible carbon footprint. He assessed the costs of making each component and the entire assembly process. His 3D printing micro-factory managed to dramatically minimise the costs of manufacturing without compromising on the workmanship or performance of the supercar.
The car features 3D printed metals and plastics which Czinger says are superior to existing car materials. For example, the aluminium chassis was 3D printed and weighs a miniscule 46 kilograms, just 10% of an average car chassis, and because of its nodal design it was able to be assembled in just minutes. The entire car weighs in at just 635 kilograms (which is 300 kg less than the very first Mazda MX5!).
Czinger says he has managed to produce a high performance supercar using a $50M factory rather than the need for a $1B facility like current car makers use. He now wants to share their knowledge with other small automotive start-ups.