Eco-friendly 3D printed supercar!

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.

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

3D printing reduce fossilfuels

Here’s a look at how 3D printing can be used to develop cars that run on less fossil fuels.


If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that there are a lot of people screaming and yelling about oil prices and fossil fuels in general. Some are frightened because they see the prices rising, others because they worry that the supplies will run out leaving us empty handed, and still more are concerned about the very nature of the fossil fuels’ extraction and usage.

Without wandering down the path toward a college course in economics, there has been a shift in attention from the non-negotiable (or nearly so) supply side approach to the problem to an emphasis on the level of demand. When concentrating on supply, concerns arise such as the growing belief that the Saudis don’t have as much oil as has been believed, or the failure to discover any new large oil reserves. When the focus is on the demand side of the oil equation, efforts are aimed at reducing the amount of oil that is used.

That doesn’t always take the form of calls to live off the grid eating only what we can farm and forsaking the glories of the iPod and gas-powered vehicles in favor of drum circles and walking. When companies produce goods that require consumers to purchase fuel, they must respond to the concerns expressed by those customers and create products that are more fuel efficient. It’s less of an energy revolution and more a case of making modest cutbacks. It isn’t quite as exciting, and it may not save us in the long run, but it does possibly prolong the period before crisis.


One of the ways that companies are responding to consumer distaste for high oil prices is through the creation of more fuel-efficient vehicles. This where 3D printing arrives on the scene. The creation of vehicle components through 3D printing has allowed for a marked decrease in the weight of those components. Less weight means less energy is required to move, et voilà: increased fuel efficiency.

Ford is creating a new model of F-150 that is 300 lbs lighter than the models manufactured previously. Some of the vehicular weight loss is a result of using lighter carbon-fiber materials for a variety of its components. It has been estimated that the amount of lightweight materials integrated into vehicle manufacture will more than double in the coming decade. Part of that rapid weight loss will come from lessons learned from aviation. Manufacturers of today’s airplanes are using 3D printed parts that are created in a single piece to eliminate the added bulk that came from using bolts and screws to hold multiple components together. This shift in manufacturing techniques from machining to 3D printing will allow Airbus to soon produce a plane that is nearly 30% lighter than conventional aircraft.


With auto manufacturers responding even more directly to consumer desire for more fuel-efficient vehicles, we will definitely see them take a tip from aeronautics’ playbook in the near future.

Now, we just need a print bed large enough to turn me into the ultimate additive manufacturing/soccer mom on the block.

What do you think? Will 3D printing lead the charge to increase fuel efficiency and lightweighting? Let us know your predictions in the 3D Printing and Oil forum thread at the forums at

by  | NOVEMBER 18, 2014

Influence of 3D Printing to environment

How 3D Printing is helping to save the environment

Besides the usage of biodegradable materials such as PLA, 3D printing is paving the way for the future of environmental sustainability. Below you can find 3 prime examples of how it’s already impacting societies worldwide.


3D printing tech has opened doors in a lot of areas – including sustainability. Take a look at the efforts of some groups to 3D print a greener planet.

Give someone a 3D printer, and she’ll make something cool; teach someone to use a 3D printer for sustainability, and she might change the world.

We’ve seen a variety of 3D-printed projects spring up over the last two years — from medical splints to houses to guns — and most fanatics will gladly argue that it’s only the beginning of a revolutionary distribution movement.

Ideally, 3D printing itself is a largely sustainable concept — but a few projects, which we’ve highlighted below, take it to a whole different level.

1. Protoprint

Protoprint was founded in early 2013 by Sidhant Pai, an environmental engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the summer of 2012, Pai had been researching low-cost recycling technology around the same time his father began dabbling in 3D printing as a hobby.

“[I realized] that 3D printer filament” — the plastic, coil-like material used to mold 3D-printed creations — “was basic in its chemical composition. So, we started looking into whether it was possible to recycle the filament from waste plastic,” he says.

It was. After a brief research period, Pai partnered with Pune, India-based cooperative SWaCH, which employs “pickers” to sort through the city’s waste bins for plastic bottles. They developed a system: After the pickers collect the bottles, workers wash and run them through a FlakerBot shredding machine, and then melt the plastic and spool it into reels of filament.

“This really bridges the gap between cutting-edge technology and grassroots recycling,” Pai says.

The group is in its final stages of its pilot launch, and plans to begin commercial production by the end of the summer.

2. Amsterdam’s Canal House

The 3D Print Canal House project, based in Amsterdam, claims to be constructing the world’s first 3D-printed house.

Dus Architects announced the idea in 2013. The firm will print out blocks of plastic, using a specialized printer called the Kamermaker, and stack them together like Legos to build the 13-story canal-style complex.

The idea is to eliminate both waste and the cost of transporting typical material needed for building, like lumber, steel and cement. As of now, the printer runs on bioplastics, but has the capacity to melt anything that will mold at a low temperature. Similar to Protoprint, Dus Architects is considering using recycled materials — even wood pallets and natural stone waste.

According to the Guardian, the group began construction on the house at the end of March. But the project’s website says the ordeal will likely take up to three years to complete. For now, anyone can take a tour of the physical site, for a small fee.


WASP is a team of Italian-based 3D printer enthusiasts who also have their eyes on the housing market.

The group is most well-known for the PowerWasp, a 3D printer that’s able to use clay as filament, while also doubling as a milling machine. Founder Massimo Moretti hopes to use his machines to create cheap, affordable housing in poor areas of the world. That kind of machine is still in development — but in the meantime, his team is self-funding its research by selling the PowerWasp at low costs to aspiring entrepreneurs in lower income areas.

For their efforts, the group won the Green Award at last year’s 3D Printshow in London.

BONUS: I 3D Printed a Gun