Divergent Microfactories Presents the World’s First 3D Printed Super Car: the Blade
Divergent Microfactories has created the “world’s first 3D printed supercar,” the Blade. Okay, so it’s not completely 3D printed – according to the website, the car body is built from a composite and the engine would probably blow apart if it was made using additive manufacturing.
Their most exciting breakthrough is the use of “Nodes” a “3d-printed aluminum joint that connects pieces of carbon fiber tubing to make up the car’s chassis.” This allows manufacturers to assemble a chassis by hand in less than 30 minutes. The combination of aluminum and carbon fiber produces a chassis that is up to 90% lighter than traditional cars with the added benefit of being stronger and more durable. Founder & CEO Kevin Czinger also claims that this method will “radically reduce the resource used and pollution generated by manufacturing.”
The Node-chassis uses only 61 pounds of aluminum and 41 pounds of carbon fiber – helping keep the weight of a completed Blade to an astonishing 1,400 lbs. The 3D-printed hyper car claims to produce 700 horsepower from a turbo-charged four-cylinder engine, which is good for hitting 60mph in under 2 seconds. Did I mention that the car will be able to run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas? I personally haven’t heard of an engine that can match these amazing numbers, , but I’ll just have to wait and see when a road-going model is ready for testing.
Divergent Microfactories’ main goal is to help cut environmental impact and democratize the car building process. They hope to spread the Node platform across the world, letting others build their own cars and structures while maintaining an affordable cost and reducing the environmental hazards of traditional manufacturing.
If Mr. Czinger and his company can really deliver this car and technology, then I cannot wait to see how Nodes get used in bigger vehicles. Could we be seeing them in other cars, boats or maybe even buildings? Only time will tell how proven the Node system is and if Divergent Microfactories can produce a supercar to rival carmakers with proven racing heritage like Ferrari or Porsche.