Knowledge is Power!
3D Printing has completely revolutionized the manufacturing industry. Nowadays there are thousands of products being produced via this technology. Sure, it isn't perfect at the moment but huge strides are being made every single day, and it is almost impossible to predict exactly where we are going in the future with this technology. However, one man is attempting something which I never dreamed a year ago would actually be possible with printing technology. That is the production of a car, yes, a full sized car.
This car, currently being planned in Winnipeg is a two-passenger car fully created by 3D printing. This includes the rather complex combustion engine and an electric motor, this makes it arguably one of the most complex projects attempted using the technology.
As I type, this car is being printed out, in plastic piece by piece, with a number of separate parts making up this vehicle, and thus the printing process is going to take a good while. This is a stark contrast to the majority of car manufacturers nowadays who send their vehicles along rather complex automated assembly lines. If this process takes off however, or at least works, then it likely that 3D printing could actually be the future of the car manufacture industry.
This isn't just a gimmick to prove that it can be done however. If 3D printing of cars take off it can revolutionize the industry. In traditional car manufacturing processes the car is constructed using rather bulky metal sheets. This means that the vehicle is the same thickness throughout, this means the car is too bulky and heavy. The vehicle being designed here however consists of only 50 pieces of plastic. A the moment printing the whole car, including all of the parts inside is estimated to take around 2,500 hours. This is considerably longer than current manufacturing processes, however it is estimated at as the technology related to 3D printing changes this length of the time has the ability to fall rather quickly.
One of the great things about this 3D printed car is that it looks remarkably beautiful. Stunning in fact. The main reason behind this is that the printing process means that there is more leeway to create a stunning and intricate design. If this is the way in which 3D printing is moving then I for one can't wait to see what else we are going to see from this rather remarkable technology. Once the best designers get in on the job we really are in line for something quite special.
At the moment, the cost of designing a 3D printed car is remarkably cost prohibitive. However, if this process takes off in the car manufacturing process, and I see no reason why it won't, the cost of the vehicle could actually end up much cheaper than other ones out there, and it has the ability to completely change the industry. However, expect to see cars sticking around for much longer with far fewer being released each year, mainly because of the amount of effort it takes to create the products via this method.