A tiny bit of history was probably made a few weeks ago when the world’s first 3D printed car was driven out in public for the first time. Of course when we say 3D printed, we mean the bodywork and interior etc, not the motor, suspension or other metallic parts. That would be rather difficult right now. But maybe not in a few years or so?
The interesting thing about this demonstration, is the fact that it took just 44 hours to build the Strati from scratch, and while they used a Renault Twizzy electric powertrain, it’s not hard to see that you may be able to do this sort of thing in the future on demand, so to speak, and drop in any number of engine, motor, configurations. Rather like selecting your custom burger at the eatery.
The finished result also looked pretty good all things considering, as you’ll see from the video, although someone needs to come up with a decent way to add a smooth paint like finish to the end result in order to avoid the plastic toy look.
Marrying electric cars and 3D printing makes all kinds of sense of course, because you don’t have to worry about all that heat and melting stuff, although the weight of a Tesla level of batteries could be a challenge in the early days. We notice that the car didn’t travel very far at all on this first outing, which leads us to believe there were issues somewhere.
Still and all, it’s a pretty impressive demonstration of what can be done with a bit of plastic extrusion, a large enough machine, and some determined designers. We’re expecting to see a lot more of this kind of stuff in the future.