Any limits to what people can 3-D print these days have just been blown away by The Blade, the world’s first 3-D printed supercar. The chassis is ninety percent lighter than that of an average car and can go from zero to sixty in two point two seconds, but those aren’t the only things that set this machine apart.
The entire vehicle is made from carbon fibre instead of steel or aluminum, allowing it to save on weight, greatly increasing its capacity for both speed and acceleration. According to statistics pertaining to the vehicle, its total weight is approximately one thousand four hundred pounds. In addition, the entire structure is held together by a system of interlocking carbon rods, making it resemble a giant Lego kit.
The onset of this new application 3-D printing technology isn’t just really cool, it also addresses many of the severe problems plaguing several aspects of the automotive industry. Some of the most important of these solutions include curbing the pollution and material cost involved in the manufacturing, use, and maintenance of such vehicles. The former would be great news to several concerned groups, while the latter will definitely appeal to automobile manufacturers.
The potential of 3-D printing vehicles isn’t just for the big players, though; it also provides a vision for continued innovation and greater competition in the industry. If you think Tesla is doing a good job in shaking up the market by making electric cars look like something non-eco-conscious people actually want to buy. Adding 3-D printing technology gives a completely new competitive dimension to the industry.
The realization may not have hit the big players yet, but this is a completely new way of building vehicles. This is an industry that’s relied on the general principles of the conveyor system since Henry Ford first implemented it in his factories. Having the ability to print and assemble an entire vehicle takes most of the cost of building a car out of the window, giving small payers a greater license to design and innovate the cars of the future.
The next few years will be an exciting era for the automotive industry as observers and analysts wait to see who will incorporate and utilize this technology first and to what extent. Will new manufacturers rise to challenge the big players, or will established companies continue their dominance in the industry? Only time will tell.