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).

dm1

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 and climate change

http://3dprint.com/71924/3d-print-climate-change/

clim1

What is 3D Printing’s Role in Combating Climate Change?

We already have heard enough about climate change that I don’t have to drag you through the litany of weather-related changes we have already seen or the futuristic scenarios that anticipate rising sea levels and an increase in extreme weather events such as tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. There’s also been a lot of talk that humanity will not be able to work its way out of these issues via quick technological fixes: there needs to be a great shift in social priorities that seek ways to turn the situation around, and some think it may already be too late.

Well, although it would be a mistake to presume we can fix our way out of the problem, it is interesting to consider how 3D printing can be a positive part of the solution. But this makes sense when you consider how efficient 3D printing can be. As the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists explains, “the ability to print replacement parts for generators, water filters, or temporary shelters—on site—may become a critical and inexpensive tool of climate adaptation, particularly in zones of instability and conflict.” And another advantage 3D printing has in the fight against climate change is that it can allow for cost-effective greenhouse gas reduction for societies seeking greater energy efficiency in manufacturing processes and products.

clim4

There are many examples of the military’s knowledge, testing, and use of 3D printing in extreme conditions; these conditions give us a glimpse of possible scenarios attached to climate related catastrophes. Since 1997, the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to predict and prepare for weather events in the Global South. (Some critics would say that this preparation is nowhere near what it should be today.) Recently, as an example of an application of 3D printing, 3D printed weather stations are cutting costs and increasing the ability to print replacement parts quickly in remote locations. This makes sense, right?

clim2

But we don’t just want to kick back and think that it’s all in the military’s hands and that poor countries of the Global South can rest assured that wealthier countries have their backs when it comes to climate disaster preparedness.  In fact, the great thing about 3d printing is that it empowers civilians to take things into their own hands and design and print the devices and items they envision using to confront extreme weather conditions. The ability to share open-source designs and empower grassroots knowledge of the technology is probably 3D printing’s greatest overall contribution to combating climate change.

According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, there are other characteristics of 3D printing that make it amenable to climate change preparedness: it can de-globalize hazards, making it easier to enact on-site local production of parts instead of shipping costly items around the world. It can increase accessibility of goods in more remote areas that are difficult to reach. It can enhance energy efficiency since on average additive manufacturing uses 50% less energy and can save up to 90% in material costs. Also, it allows you to only print the parts required, and shipping costs are greatly reduced with on-site production capabilities. Also, 3D printed parts can be made lighter than original parts, and lighter objects require less fuel.

clim8

While the verdict is still out on how seriously the world’s wealthiest governments are taking climate change science and recommended preparation measures, it’s clear that 3D printing can contribute in multiple arenas in helpign us prepare for the possibility of increasing catastrophic weather events. We only hope that all of this can be done in time.

Do you think that 3D printing will have a major role in combating climate change?  If so how?  Discuss in the 3D Printing and Climate Change Forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 22, 2015

 

3D printing and economic impact

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-01/3d-printing-impact-bigger-than-internet-expert-says/6365296

3D printed jet engine

3D printing will have a bigger economic impact than the internet, technology specialist says

Manufacturing industries need to embrace 3D printing, which will have an even bigger impact on economies and society than the internet, an Australian technology specialist says.

Steve Sammartino is a digital entrepreneur and venture capitalist who advises business on how to adjust to disruptive technologies and the digital revolution.

While most of us have heard about 3D printing and its potential to improve medical treatments and manufacturing processes, Mr Sammartino says 3D printing will be far more than a niche tool.

He says it will transform everything about the way we live within a matter of years.

Speaking to The World Today, Mr Sammartino said 3D printing represented an extraordinary technological shift.

“The first time I saw it, it blew my mind as well because to see actually something physically get made layer upon layer in front of you is quite astounding. I think that 3D printing will be even greater than the information revolution because it democratises manufacturing for the first time.

“We’re going to see desktop manufacturing in the same way that we saw desktop publishing and information transfer and so we can actually transfer physical products to other people who can print it at the other end, just like we would send an email or send a video.”

But while that may be good for individuals, it will be hugely disruptive for industry, and Mr Sammartino said business leaders could not afford to ignore it.

“I think you need to embrace it. Like we’ve seen with the social web, the companies that moved quickly to embrace the new tools and collaborate with their audience have been the major beneficiaries.

“In fact, the idea of making and selling items is not nearly as important as the idea of providing platforms and collaborating with your end consumers.

“So trying to fight the tide is kind of like — it’s not a strategy that’s effective for the manufacturing industry.

“The best thing they can do is work out how to use it as a platform and collaborate and get faster and quicker innovation by working with their customers and their supply chains rather than trying to fight the tide of the things that they used to make.

“Because we’ve seen with the social and informational web that’s a strategy which simply doesn’t work.”

‘It will change everything we do’

Mr Sammartino said even businesses that did not manufacture anything needed to pay attention to the technology.

“It’s just a little bit like the internet. When it arrived we thought, ‘Oh, that may be interesting for media’, but as we’ve seen it’s transformed every type of business no matter what industry.

An ear is fabricated with a 3D printer in a laboratory at Cornell University.

“The internet is an important part of our business, and 3D printing, while we can’t see exactly how that might manifest itself, there’s no doubt that it’ll change everything we do from just simple operations and the spaces we work in and in unforeseeable ways it’ll impact, I think, most businesses.

“Even the way our homes are furnished will change and the type of things that we print at home. It’ll even have an impact on our foods — we’ll be 3D printing food. Smart brands will be selling components.

“Just like the ink jet printers get sold, you might have a chocolate company selling you the ingredients that go into your 3D printing machine to print things exactly the way that you want.”

But making 3D printing more accessible will come with risks, Mr Sammartino said.

“One of the unforeseeable externalities is that I think that we have already seen 3D printed guns and one of the problems with those is that when they get used there’s no safety concerns in the manufacturing process,” he said.

“Is there a duty of care of the person sending the file or is the duty of care with the printing manufacturer or is the duty of care with the software designer that designed or scanned the file?”

He said it was an issue that needed to be considered by the Government.

“So you get all of these other legal issues that we’re going to need to be very speedy on from a government perspective so that we’re across it and we protect consumers.”

abc.net.au

by Sarah Sedghi and Eleanor Hall | 1 Apr 2015, 3:07pm