3D printed parts for a car

http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/71751824/the-car-of-the-future-to-use-3d-printed-parts

Car parts could use 3D printing techniques in the future, according to BMW

The car of the future to use 3D printed parts

Car companies will soon make use of 3D printing to manufacture parts, bringing benefits in cost and strength that will improve the affordability and driving character of future vehicles, according to BMW’s head of lightweight design Florian Schek.

While most vehicle manufacturers use the advanced technology during the development and design phase to quickly create prototype parts or models, Schek believes it won’t be long before the technology is transferred into end-consumer production techniques.

He admitted that it is likely to be used on low-volume speciality vehicles first as the time needed to mass-produce parts by 3D printing is not as quick as conventional methods such as casting and forging for metals, or as affordable as plastics. But he said the rapid advances in the technology will ensure its future application is viable.

“We have that already in prototyping,” he told Drive.

“But there is definitely a future for it in mainstream production. It will come.

“I think it will take some time in high-volume production, but it is not that far away for specialist models like the i8. We can do some very interesting things with 3D printing that we cannot do with other methods and it is quite exciting about the benefits, both in terms of design and structure.”

Schek said the benefits of 3D printing structural elements – including major components such as shock absorber towers – could see improvements in weight reductions and rigidity, as the printing process could create components more intricately.

“With 3D printing we can see advantages in being able to build parts with strength where it is needed and not in places where it isn’t, and this will help improve decreasing weight. We can design the part according to the forces that are running through it, this will be a big step forward for some areas,” he told Drive during the launch of the all-new BMW 7-Series, which uses different materials in its skeleton – including steel, aluminium and carbon fibre – to reduce weight and increase overall strength.

“I can also see it eventually improving time to production in some circumstances too, because some components currently need to go through many processes to be ready for assembly whereas with 3D printing it is designed to be a finished product.”

stuff.co.nz

by ANDREW MACLEAN | 06:00, September 6 2015

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6 futuristic 3D printed clothes!

http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/04/6-futuristic-3d-printed-clothes/

6 futuristic 3D-printed clothes

3D printing is revolutionizing the way we make things, from buildings and cars to medical devices. But that’s not all: Many forward-thinking designers in the fashion industry are using 3D printers to cut down on material waste and explore new possibilities for unique and exciting designs. Read on to learn about some of the most advanced 3D-printed clothes and wearables that they’ve cooked up.

References:

engadget.com

by Inhabitat | September 4th 2015 At 2:00pm

http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/04/6-futuristic-3d-printed-clothes/

Eco-friendly 3D printed supercar!

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/12/us-usa-3d-printed-supercar-idUSKCN0Q91W020150812

Eco-friendly 3D printed supercar

A California automotive start-up is hoping their prototype supercar will redefine car manufacturing. The sleek race car dubbed ‘Blade’ didn’t come off an assembly line – but out of a 3D printer.

Kevin Czinger of Divergent Microfactories has spent most of his career in the automotive industry. One day he realized that no matter how fuel-efficient or how few tailpipe emissions the modern car has, the business of car manufacturing is destroying the environment.

“3D printing of metal radically changes that. By looking at 3D printing not for that overall structure but to create individual modular structures that can be combined, that 3D printing transforms everything,” said Czinger during an interview with Reuters in Silicon Valley.

According to Czinger, 3D printing transforms everything by changing the way the structural components of cars are fabricated. Currently cars are pieced together on long assembly lines inside large factories that use massive amounts of energy. Even the most fuel-efficient car has a large carbon footprint before ever leaving the plant.

Czinger and his team’s approach was to take the large plant out of the equation. To accomplish this they printed the modular pieces that are used to connect carbon rods that make up the Blade’s chassis.

“The 3D printed chassis is only 102 pounds and has the same strength and safety protection as a frame made out of steel,” said Brad Balzer, the lead designer on the project.

By using carbon fiber instead of steel or aluminum for the body, the entire vehicle only weighs 1400 pounds (635kg), giving it twice the weight to horsepower ratio of a Bugatti Veyron.

The Blade is fitted with a 700 horse power engine that runs on natural gas, reducing its carbon footprint even further.

Balzer says designing an eco-friendly speed demon supercar as their first prototype was intentional.

“We focused a lot on the aesthetics of this car because it is very important to capture the people’s imaginations, especially when we are talking about the core enabling technologies,” he said.

The core enabling technology, the ability to print out car components that can be easily assembled, is what Kevin Czinger hopes will revolutionize car manufacturing. He says electric cars are a step in the right direction, but alone they won’t be enough to curb greenhouse emissions given the projected rise in demand for cars globally unless the way they are manufactured changes.

“By constructing a car this way it has less than one third of the environmental and health impact than the 85 hours all electric car for example has,” he added.

Czinger and Balzer are starting small but they believe their new 3D printing method for car manufacturing will have a huge impact on how the cars of the future are built.

reuters.com

by BEN GRUBER | Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:14pm EDT

Objects that couldn’t be made before 3D printers existed!

http://gizmodo.com/objects-that-couldnt-be-made-before-3d-printers-existed-1718072112

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Objects That Couldn’t Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

3D printing isn’t just for making unique stuffed animals or weird fake meat. It allows us to fabricate objects we never could with traditional manufacturing. Here are some of the incredible things we can print now, which were nearly impossible to make before.

Personalized Car Parts

3D printing can make car parts that are custom-built for the driver’s body and comfort: an ergonomic steering wheel, for example. Last month, Fortune reported Ford’s partnership with California-based 3D printing company Carbon3D. The automakers themselves can benefit from 3D printed parts, too. Instead of the ol’ Ford assembly line, engineers can make manufacturing and design more iterative with 3D printed materials, since prototyping suddenly becomes faster and cheaper and testing becomes more frequent and thorough.

You see, many products—from drinking cups to video game consoles to car parts—are created in a process called “injection molding.” That’s when a material, like glass or metal or plastic, is poured into a mold that forms the product. But with 3D printing, you can design a crazy object on your computer, and it can be turned into reality.

“3D printing bridges the gap between the digital and the physical world,” says Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot, “and lets you design pretty much anything in digital form and then instantly turn it into a physical object.”

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Lighter Airplanes

There have been lots of materials used to make planes lighter, and thus more fuel efficient and greener. But 3D-printed materials can cut weight by up to 55%, according to Airbus, which announced its involvement with 3D printing last year.

In February, Australian researchers unveiled the first 3D-printed jet engine in the world.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

3D-printed polymers often have “high strength to weight ratios,” says Kristine Relja, marketing manager at Carbon3D, the same company that’s working with Ford on the 3D-printed car parts. 3D-printed plane parts use that strength-to-weight ratio to their advantage. It gives them an edge over traditional materials, like the aluminum often found in seat frames.

“If the arm rest of each seat of a plane were replaced with a high strength to weight ratio part, the overall weight of the plane would drop, increasing fuel efficiency and lowering the overall cost of the plane,” Relja says.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Detailed Molds of Your Jaw

Possibly the arena 3D printing handedly dominates is personal health. Our bodies are unbelievably individualized, idiosyncratic flesh bags filled with biological items uniquely shaped to each person. Since customization is so critical, especially in surgical implants, 3D printing can really shine here.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Let’s start with dental trays: Those molds of your chompers that’re made with gross cement stuff that you have to leave in your mouth for minutes on end. They’re useful because they can help dentists and orthodontists create appliances like retainers or braces, and can give them a three dimensional, kinesthetic mold of your mouth.

Over at Stratasys, the 3D printing company that owns MakerBot, 3D-printed dental trays are going from CAD file to model, blazing trails in orthodontics. It gives orthodontists and dentists a cheap, accurate glimpse into a patient’s maw. It’s way easier than those nasty physical impressions with the cement, and way less gag-inducing.

Customized Surgical Stents

Stents are those little tubes surgeons stick in the hollow parts of your body—a blood vessel or artery, say—to hold it open and allow it to function properly. Usually, they’re mesh, but stents that are 3D-printed can have an edge, since they’re able to be customized more and are made with cheaper, flexible polymers that can dissolve safely into the bloodstream in a couple years.

At the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in the Detroit Medical Center, a 17-year-old girl was suffering from an aortic aneurysm, a potentially fatal heart condition that was discovered with a precautionary EKG. That’s when Dr. Daisuke Kobayashi and his team turned to 3D printing. A 3D printed model of her heart allowed the doctors to know exactly where to put stents in an otherwise delicate operation for a young patient.

In other cases, the surgical stents themselves are 3D printed: University of Michigan doctors have also implanted 3D-printed stents just above infant boys’ lungs to open their airways help them breathe normally on their own. The advantage of using 3D printing here is that doctors were able to create custom stents that could fit the kids’ individual anatomies, quickly and cheaply.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Buckyballs

No, not the tiny magnetic choking hazards. We’re talking about models of Buckminsterfullerene, the molecule. It’s every chemistry teacher’s dream. 3D printers can produce tangible, big models of molecules. And they’re accurate, too. This type of complex geometry is really hard to pull off with injection molding. The closest thing we had before was basically popsicle sticks and Elmer’s.

3D printing not only helps us learn more about what molecules look like by making lifesized models of them—it also helps us make actual molecules. Earlier this year, Dr. Martin Burke at the University of Illinois led the construction of a “molecule-making machine”: It’s a machine that synthesizes small, organic molecules by welding over 200 pre-made “building blocks” and then 3D printing billions of organic compound combinations. This could “revolutionize organic chemistry,” the paper in the journal Science reported, significantly speeding up the process to test new drugs.

What’s cool about 3D printing is that it makes ambitiously designed objects way more feasible. Specifically, 3D printing can make those “complex geometries” that injection molding can’t: That is, stuff that’s in obscure shapes, like long twisty mobius strips or zillion-sided polygons.

Replacement Parts for Your Organs

3D printing can be used to make surgically-implanted hardware that protects or supports damaged organs. This could lead the way to custom repairs for damaged tracheas or windpipes, for instance. Sometimes part of a windpipe needs to be removed, but the two remaining ends need to be joined together—if they can’t be joined together, the patient may die.

3D bioprinting to the rescue! It can replicate the mechanical properties of the trachea. That’s right: a living, biological tracheal replacement can be made from a mix of 3D printing and tissue engineering. That’s what the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research did. They modified a 3D printer to use a syringe filled with living cells that produce collagen and cartilage. Within hours, bioengineered tracheas can be created on-the-spot quickly and cheaply. And that’s a key strength for 3D printing: fast prototypes.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Organs and Bones

The most futuristic use of for these magical printers? They could, one day, create internal organs. That’s a literal lifesaver for folks who need an organ transplant. Also possibly available: eyes, blood vessels, noses, ears, skin, and bones. Even hearts.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

And this isn’t just science fiction. In 2013, medical company Organovo started selling 3D-printed liver tissue. It’ll be a while before a fully functioning liver can be printed, but it’s a big step in the right direction, even if it just means prototypes and experimental liver-like structures.

As if that wasn’t incredible enough, we can also create replicas of people’s existing internal organs. With the help of CT scan data, docs can whip up three dimensional, touchable copies of individuals’ guts, in all their nuanced, unique glory. This can help medical professionals better find tumors or other irregularities. (Not to mention it could possibly take the gross awesomeness out of biology class dissections.)

And already, companies are creating cheap, 3D-printed prosthetic limbs for kids. A whole generation is growing up with 3D printing — not just as a toy, but a vital part of their bodies.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

gizmodo.com

by Bryan Lufkin | 8/11/15 4:34pm

First 3D printed Supercar!

http://3dprint.com/74810/3d-printed-supercar-blade/

bladefeatured

World’s First 3D Printed Supercar is Unveiled – 0-60 in 2.2 Seconds, 700 HP Motor – Built from Unique Node System

The automobile industry has been relatively stagnant for the past several decades. While new car designs are released annually, and computer technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, the manufacturing processes and the effects that these processes have on our environment have remain relatively unchanged. Over the past decade or so, 3D printing has shown some promise in the manufacturing of automobiles, yet it has not quite lived up to its potential, at least according to Kevin Czinger, founder and CEO of a company called Divergent Microfactories (DM).

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Today, at the O’Reilly Solid Conference in San Francisco, Kevin Czinger is about to shock the world with a keynote presentation he will give titled, “Dematerializing Auto Manufacturing.”

“Divergent Microfactories is going to unveil a supercar that is built based on 3D printed parts,” Manny Vara of LMG PR tells 3DPrint.com. “It is very light and super fast — can you say faster acceleration than a McLaren P1, and 2x the power-to-weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron? But the car itself is only part of the story. The company is actually trying to completely change how cars are made in order to hugely reduce the amount of materials, power, pollution and cost associated with making traditional cars.”

The vehicle, called the Blade, has 1/3 the emissions of an electric car and 1/50 the factory capital costs of other manufactured cars.  Unlike previous 3D printed vehicles that we have seen, such as Local Motors’ car that they have printed several times, DM’s manufacturing process differs quite a bit. Instead of 3D printing an entire vehicle, they 3D print aluminum ‘nodes’ which act in a similar fashion to Lego blocks. 3D printing allows DM to create elaborate and complex shaped nodes which are then joined together by off-the-shelf carbon fiber tubing. Once the nodes are printed, the chassis of a car can be completely assembled in a matter of minutes by semiskilled workers. The process of constructing the chassis is one which requires much less capital and other resources, and doesn’t require the extremely skilled and trained workers that other car manufacturing techniques rely on. The important goal that DM is striving for, and it appears they have accomplished, is the reduction of pollution and environmental impact.

Individual 3D printed aluminum nodes

Today, Czinger and the rest of the team at Divergent Microfactories will be unveiling their first prototype car, the Blade.

“Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars,” explains CEO Kevin Czinger. “The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly. At Divergent Microfactories, we’ve found a way to make automobiles that holds the promise of radically reducing the resource use and pollution generated by manufacturing. It also holds the promise of making large-scale car manufacturing affordable for small teams of innovators. And as Blade proves, we’ve done it without sacrificing style or substance. We’ve developed a sustainable path forward for the car industry that we believe will result in a renaissance in car manufacturing, with innovative, eco-friendly cars like Blade being designed and built in microfactories around the world.”

Assembling of the 3D printed nodes and carbon fiber tubing to construct the chassis

The Blade is one heck of a supercar, capable of going from 0-60 MPH in a mere 2.2 seconds. It weighs just 1,400 pounds, and is powered by a 4-cylinder 700-horsepower bi-fuel internal combustion engine that is capable of using either gasoline or compressed natural gas as fuel. The car chassis is made up of approximately 70 3D printed aluminum nodes, and it took only 30 minutes to build the chassis by hand. The chassis itself weighs just 61 pounds.

“The body of the car is composite,” Vara tells us. “One cool thing is that the body itself is not structural, so you could build it out of just about any material, even something like spandex. The important piece, structurally, is the chassis.”

Kevin Czinger, Founder and CEO, Divergent Microfactories, Inc. with the Blade Supercar

The initial plan is for DM to scale up to an annual production of 10,000 of these limited supercars, making them available to potential customers. This isn’t all though, as DM doesn’t merely plan on just being satisfied by manufacturing cars via this method. They plan on making the technology available to others as well. On top of selling these supercars, they will also sell the tools and technologies so that small teams of innovators and entrepreneurs can open microfactories and build their own cars, based on their own unique designs. Whether it is a sedan, pickup truck or another type of supercar, it is all possible with this proprietary 3D printed node technology.

Pre-painted Blade supercar

The node-enabled chassis of cars built using this unique 3D printing method, are up to 90% lighter, much stronger, and more durable than cars built with more traditional techniques. Could we be looking at a great ideology change within the automobile manufacturing industry? Lighter, stronger, more durable, more affordable, environmentally satisfying vehicles are definitely something that just about anyone should consider a step in the right direction.

3D printing has been touted as a technology of the future, for the future, enabling individual customization of many products. Now, the ability for entrepreneurs to enter an industry previously overrun by huge corporations could mean a future with individualized, custom vehicles which perform and appear just the way we want them. If Divergent Microfactories has a say, this will be our future, and that future isn’t too far off.

pre-painted Blade supercar

What do you think about this 3D printed supercar? Do you like the idea of entrepreneurs having an opportunity to fabricate their own line of vehicles? Is DM onto something with this unique method of automobile manufacturing? Discuss in the Divergent Microfactories 3D Printed Supercar Forum thread on 3DPB.com.

blade1

3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 24, 2015

3D printing a jet engine and car

http://singularityhub.com/2015/05/26/why-3d-printing-a-jet-engine-or-car-is-just-the-beginning/

Why 3D Printing a Jet Engine or Car Is Just the Beginning

The 3D printing (digital manufacturing) market has had a lot of hype over the past few years.

Most recently, it seems this technology arena has entered the “trough of disillusionment,” as 3D printing stock prices have taken a hit. But the fact remains: this exponential technology is still in its childhood and its potential for massive disruption (of manufacturing and supply chains) lies before us.

This article is about 3D printing’s vast potential — our ability to soon 3D print complex systems like jet engines, rocket engines, cars and even houses.

But first, a few facts:

  • Today, we can 3D print in some 300 different materials, ranging from titanium to chocolate.
  • We can 3D print in full color.
  • We can 3D print in mixed materials — imagine a single print that combines metals, plastics and rubbers.
  • Best of all, complexity and personalization come for free.

What Does It Mean for “Complexity to Be Free”?

Think about this: If you 3D print a solid block of titanium, or an equal-sized block with a thousand moving components inside, the time and cost of both 3D printings is almost exactly the same (the solid block is actually more expensive from a materials cost).

Complexity and personalization in the 3D printing process come for free — i.e. no additional cost and no additional time. Today, we’re finding we can 3D print things that you can’t manufacture any other way.

Let’s take a look at some of the exciting things being 3D printed now.

3D Printing Rocket Engines

SpaceX 3D printed main oxidizer valves (MOVs).

In 2014, SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket with a 3D-printed Main Oxidizer Valve (MOV) body in one of the nine Merlin 1D engines (the print took less than two days —whereas a traditional castings process can take months).

Even more impressive, SpaceX is now 3D printing its SuperDraco engine chamber for the Dragon 2 capsule.

According to SpaceX, the process “resulted in an order of magnitude reduction in lead-time compared with traditional machining — the path from the initial concept to the first hotfire was just over three months.”

On a similar note, Planetary Resources Inc. (PRI) is demonstrating the 3D printing of integrated propulsion and structures of its ARKYD series of spacecraft. This technology has the potential to reduce the parts count by 100x, with an equal reduction in cost and labor.

3D Printing Jet Engines

GE recently engineers recently designed, 3D printed, and fired up this simple jet engine.

GE has just demonstrated the 3D printing of a complete, functioning jet engine (the size of a football), able to achieve 33,000 RPM.

3D printing has been used for decades to prototype parts — but now, with advances in laser technology, modeling and printing technology, GE has actually 3D printed a complete product.

Xinhua Wu, a lead researcher at Australia’s Monash University, recently explained the allure of 3D printed jet engines. Because of their complexity, she noted, manufacturing jet engine parts requires on the order of 6 to 24 months. But 3D printing reduces manufacturing time to something more like one to two weeks.

“Simple or complex, 3D printing doesn’t care,” she said. “It produces [parts] in the same time.”

3D Printing Cars

Last year, Jay Rogers from Local Motors built a 3D printed car.

Local Motors 3D printed car.

It’s made of ABS plastic reinforced with carbon fiber. As they describe, “Everything on the car that could be integrated into a single material piece has been printed. This includes the chassis/frame, exterior body, and some interior features. The mechanical components of the vehicle, like battery, motors, wiring, and suspension, are sourced from Renault’s Twizy, an electric powered city car.”

It is called “The Strati,” costs $15,000, and gets 80 kilometers range on a single charge. Today, the car takes 44 hours to print, but soon the team at Local Motors plans to cut the print process to less than 24 hours.

In the past, producing a new car with a new design was very expensive and time consuming — especially when it comes to actually designing the tooling to handle the production of the newly designed car.

With additive manufacturing, once you’ve designed the vehicle on a computer, you literally press *print*.

3D Printing Houses

WinSun 3D printed house.

In China, a company called WinSun Decoration Design Engineering 3D printed 10 full-sized houses in a single day last year. They used a quick-drying concrete mixture composed mostly of recycled construction and waste material and pulled it off at a cost of less than $5,000 per house. Instead of using, say, bricks and mortar, the system extrudes a mix of high-grade cement and glass fiber material and prints it, layer by layer.

The printers are 105 feet by 33 feet each and can print almost any digital design that the clients request. The process is environmentally friendly, fast and nearly labor-free

Manufacturing Is a $10 Trillion Business Ripe for Disruption

We will continue to see advances in additive manufacturing dramatically changing how we produce the core infrastructure and machines that makes modern life possible.

singularityhub.com

by  | MAY 26, 2015

3D printed replica of Shelby Cobra

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/videos/a25659/watch-the-government-3d-print-a-shelby-cobra-replica/

Watch the government 3D print a Shelby Cobra replica

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic printing uses highly energy-efficient manufacturing techniques created at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

I’m not sure how this flew under our radar, but at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, back in January, the Department of Energy showed off an electric vehicle they’d 3D-printed out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. It was inspired by the iconic Shelby Cobra, but it most definitely wasn’t a replica.

The folks at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory put it all together, to show off their Big Area Additive Manufacturing technology that could allow for rapid prototyping to fully move out of the clay-model era. The spokesperson for ORNL claims that their improvements on 3D printing with these materials substantially reduce energy use, and allow for energy-absorbing structures to be printed—technologies they think could prove revolutionary to the transportation sector.

roadandtrack.com

by  | APR 30, 2015  4:25 PM

3D printed a full-size working car !

http://3dprint.com/53532/chinese-3d-printed-car/

car10

Chinese Company 3D Prints a Full-size Working Car for Just $1770

3D printing is going big, not just in a metaphorical sense. We have seen 3D printed buildings and cars begin to emerge as innovators look to the potential that this technology could have in the future. We saw the world’s first 3D printed car, the Urbee created in 2013. Then last year, a company called Local Motors surprised us all by 3D printing their Strati car in record time. Since then, Local Motors has been quickly iterating upon the processes they use and have already accomplished the full 3D printing of the Strati in just 44 hours flat.  They are now in the process of opening up microfactories worldwide in hopes of 3D printing custom vehicles for clients.

car8

Now, one company based in Sanya City, China, called Sanya Sihai, has just accomplished the 3D printing of yet another car. This car’s body weighs an impressive 500kg (1102 pounds) and is completely electric powered. The manufacturers say that it took about a month and a half to build, with the 3D printing process taking about 5 full days. Unlike the Strati car though, the interior of this one is not 3D printed, nor does this vehicle compete with Local Motors when it comes to aesthetics.

“The density of the material is much lighter than that of the metal, only one-seventh or one-eighth,” explains Chief Designer Chen Mingqiao. “Lighter weight will help save energy in the future.”

car2

Printed in a “Tyrant Gold” filament, the car used an astounding 500kg of filament in the 3D printing process. In total, including 1000 yuan for electricity and labor, the car cost about 11,000 yuan ($1770) to build. The 3D printed body itself, is estimated to have cost about 10 yuan per KG of material, meaning it costs the manufacturer about 5000 yuan ($805) to fabricate.

car6

This “Tyrant Gold” car can seat two, and travel at speeds of up to 40km/h (25 MPH). It measures 3.6-meters long (11.9ft) and 1.63-meters (5.5ft) wide.  Obviously, this is a great accomplishment for the Chinese based company, but it doesn’t come close to competing with what Local Motors has done or continues to do with their vehicles. Not only does the Strati look better, and go faster (40 MPH), but it is also able to be 3D printed in just 44 hours, compared to this car which took 5 days to complete. The Strati also features many more 3D printed parts, other than just the car’s body, including its seats and chassis.

It should be interesting to see how quickly Sanya Sihai is able to develop this car further, and if they will actually mass produce these vehicles in the future. While Local Motors remains leaps and bounds ahead of them as far as 3D printed car manufacturing goes, it should be interesting to see how serious they are about creating their 3D printed vehicles. What do you think about this 3D printed car? Discuss in the Chinese 3D Printed Car forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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3dprint.com

by  | MARCH 25, 2015

Inspirations by nature

A Futuristic Concept Car Inspired by Nature

http://www.popsci.com/3d-printed-car-inspired-leaf-plant

German engineering firm EDAG took inspiration from the leaf of a plant for its 3D-printed Light Cocoon concept car, which debuts at the Geneva Motor Show, open to the public through March 15.

Rather than printing the entire body shell of the vehicle out of a rigid composite material, as startup Local Motors is doing with its 3D-printed cars, EDAG instead created a lightweight metal structure optimized to use material only where absolutely necessary.

This 3D-printed skeleton is so strong that it doesn’t require traditional sheet metal panels for strength. Instead, a much lighter, high-tech waterproof fabric from German outdoor apparel company Jack Wolfskin envelopes the rigid structure. This triple-layer polyester jersey fabric, called Texapore Softshell O2+, is stretchy and allows light from LEDs underneath to pass through, creating a cool visual effect.

EDAG says the Light Cocoon’s novel construction is much lighter than conventional steel or aluminum body panels, but it did not say by how much.

The company first came up with the spiderweb-like construction method of the Light Cocoon concept car when engineering an aluminum hood for a production vehicle (it didn’t say for which automaker), whereby a network of hollow tubes under the sheet metal provided support and rigidity. This construction method met all necessary stiffness and crash requirements, yet was 25 percent lighter than a conventional car hood, EDAG says.

Though a vehicle based on the Light Cocoon is not likely to see production, EDAG did say that it will continue to refine its 3D printing methods. The company plans to show several car hoods made out of various materials using different additive manufacturing methods at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

“With the futuristic concept of our EDAG Light Cocoon, we hope to stimulate the discussion about the future of lightweight construction and automobile production,” said EDAG CEO Jörg Ohlsen, in a statement announcing the concept car.

The Geneva Motor Show opened to the public March 5 following two press preview days. It runs through March 15.

POPSCI.COM
by Matthew de Paula | March 6, 2015

3D printed ‘Rock Crawler’

A Unique, Flexible 3D Printed ‘Rock Crawler’ Has Hit the Scene!

http://3dprint.com/44810/3d-printed-rock-crawler/

rockcrawlerfeatured

Toy cars — every little boy loves them. When I was growing up in the 80s and 90s, the toy cars of choice were Hot Wheels and Micro Machines. My brother and I would spend hours on end pushing these little vehicles around our living room, oftentimes losing a few under the couch. Today, not much as changed. Little boys still love their toy cars, and Hot Wheels haven’t lost their appeal. The advent of 3D printing, however, has led to some really creative thinking on behalf of the toy car lovers of generations past.

For one 3D designer, named Richard Swalberg, who also happens to be a lover of toy vehicles, 3D printing gave him a chance to create what he calls the 3D printed Rock Crawler.

“I grew up in Utah where there is a lot of open wilderness, big rocks and mountains,” Swalberg tells 3DPrint.com. “As a teenager, I was interested in off-roading Jeeps and trucks. I used to take frequent trips with my brother and his friends to a really cool place called Moab, which is in the south of Utah. There we would drive on all the off-road trails, and see whose Jeep could climb the biggest rocks or hills.”

Swalberg used his experience to design the 3D Printed Rock Crawler, a toy vehicle unlike anything we have seen before. The toy, which is 3D printed using Selective Laser Sintering technology by Shapeways, is printed in one single piece. It is printed using Shapeways’ White or Black ‘Strong & Flexible’ plastic material, and is available to purchase for just $68.

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“When I started getting involved in 3d printing, I wanted to make things unique to me, that I knew could set me apart from the rest of the online 3d printing community,” Swalberg explains. “I also wanted to test the possibilities with Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), which allows the model to be printed completely assembled with all its moving parts.”

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The 3D printed Rock Crawler was inspired by Swalberg’s love for the buggies he frequently saw in Moab. It features an “aggressive” looking roll cage, incredibly flexible springy suspension system, and very unique off-road wheels which spin perfectly even though they were all part of one single 3D print.

To design the Rock Crawler, Swalberg first began by drawing and “doodling” various sketches of the vehicle. He then used Blender to model it in three dimensions. In all, it took a couple months for him to complete. Once he felt comfortable with the model he had, it was off to Shapeways to have it 3D printed. Amazingly, it only took him two iterations to get the vehicle where it is today.

“I really like how simple Shapeways can make the process for someone like me, who only likes to be on the design side, and less on the manufacturing side,” Swalberg told us. “Plus, they have a great online shop that anyone can create, with a huge community.”

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Swalberg is constantly trying to come up with new designs, and he has several other products offered on hisShapeways Shop, ranging from affordable jewelry to the Triple-P, a Ping Pong Ball Pistol. It should be interesting to follow Swalberg to see what he comes up with next. In the mean time, I will probably be ordering the toy car of the 21st century, the 3D printed Rock Crawler!

What do you think about Swalberg’s design? Is this not one of the coolest toy vehicles you have ever seen? Discuss in the 3D Printed Rock Crawler forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | FEBRUARY 16, 2015