3D printing shifts into high gear

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(I’ve been sick this last week, so my apologies for not posting. I’ve got a chest infection and I’m on antibiotics, but I’m doing a lot better now that I’m not trying to cough up a lung!)

Now I’m a little late to be writing about this one, but have you seen the Divergent Blade, the 3D printed super car? Sure it’s a lot smaller than most supercars, from what I can tell it’s only got a driver’s seat and no passengers will fit. But it can go from 0-60 in 2.2 seconds and it’s got 700 horsepower under its hood. If that’s not a super car, I don’t know what is.

You’ve got to love an automaker who has the confidence to paint their car pink. This isn’t a typical, bubblegum or Barbie pink. It’s more of a metallic red-purple and it’s so reflective I can almost see myself from here. I do think a lot of people would simply call it pink. Most guys would probably prefer it in the silver, as seen below. It does look amazing in the pink though. Maybe in a green or an orange instead?

With 3-D printing becoming cheaper and cheaper, the typical American household can afford to own their very own 3-D printer if they wanted. On the low end of the spectrum they run a bit under $400. I’m not sure how many useful items you could print from it, but you could own one.  You just have to have the knowledge to use the thing or to create designs or schematics for it.

Just think about it. There will be a time in the future when you could print and build your own car! Whether or not you’d want to is a whole other story. Bear in mind that 3D printed auto parts are becoming more and more run of the mill right now. Did you know that Rolls Royce uses more than 10,000 3D printed parts in the Phantom alone? Volkswagen is well known as an early adopter of 3D printed auto parts, better known as additive manufacturing technologies. They’ve been using these technologies for over 25 years. link.

And scientists are doing and working towards some amazing things with 3-D printing, including printing human tissue. They aren’t able to create complex organs like a heart or a kidney, but that is where they are headed. I wonder which would take less time to 3D print, a heart or a carburetor? Then again, the heart would be all one piece and a carburetor isn’t.

And back around to Divergent. They debuted a 3D printed motorcycle at the LA Autoshow last November. They call it, the Dagger. Same semi-futuristic design as the Blade, it looks straight out of iRobot or even a video game. But I haven’t seen any engine details or it’s speed. Do you think Divergent is into bladed hand weapons for the product names? What’s next, maybe a Kris, Katar or Cestus, maybe?

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12 thoughts on “3D printing shifts into high gear

  1. 3D printing is really opening up the market for obscure car parts as well. For instance, I recently purchased a accelerator pedal spacer which was 3D printed. On top of that, it allows fabricators to mock something up in full-size, before committing to metal. A good example of a shop that uses 3D printing like that is Leno’s Garage. Good time to be a car person!

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    • I hadn’t actually thought of that. I bet it’s a boon to people who own rare cars like an Amaretta or even some of the older makes where the parts aren’t manufactured anymore. I’ll have to check out how Leno uses 3D printing, thanks for the suggestion.

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      • Off the top of my head, I can think of his fabricators using it to mock up a shifting assembly a few dozen times in plastic before they commit to billet. Pretty neat. Computer modeling only goes so far, and being able to practically create a mock up to exact specifications at the press of a button is pretty beneficial.

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        • Very cool. It definitely makes sense to do it in a plastic first. It may be a bit malleable but as you said, you get to hold the exact part in plastic before committing it to metal. Computer models are great, but sometimes it’s easier on your brain to have a physical item.

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    • They are useful but you only need so many cup holders and ornaments. If that’s all you made and you bought a 3D printer and supplies to the tune of $400+, those could be some REALLY expensive ornaments and cup holders.

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  2. PoleStar

    You’ve got to give the starter of this Divergent company credit for coming up with such a machine in such a way. But there’s a possible snag: is it being made? Never-before-heard-of companies tend to come up with silly designs made of 3D printed plastic/wood/cow poo or whatever else they’re planning, but whether they’re put in production is a different matter.

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    • That’s very true. I visited their website, but I didn’t spend too much time since they don’t really have any information readily available. They do call the Blade a prototype. I guess it remains to be seen, right?

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        • That’s completely true. So many concept cars so few prototypes and even fewer production models. But that is the way of things. If it’s not going to make money, they won’t make them.

          Liked by 1 person

          • PoleStar

            And, to be honest, I don’t think it will make money. Probably there will be only 3 or 4 customers, and most if not all will be stupidly rich crazies from South America.

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