- 700-horsepower engine can use either compressed natural gas or gasoline
- Uses a Lego-like chassis built from 3D printed parts and carbon rods
- Uses radical 3D printed chassis to reduce weight to just 1400lb
- Hopes other firms will use its technology to create custom cars
It can go from 0-60mph in just two seconds, and weighs 90% less that traditional cars. According to San Francisco firm Divergent Microfactories, the Blade is the first 3D printed supercar, and is created using a series of chassis parts held together by carbon rods – rather like a giant Lego kit. Its 700-horsepower engine can use either compressed natural gas or gasoline, and altogether it weighs just 1400lbs – 90% less than some modern cars. ‘Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars,’ said Divergent Microfactories CEO Kevin Czinger. ‘The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly’.
The firm says its approach incorporates 3D printing to dramatically reduce the pollution, materials and capital costs associated with building automobiles and other large complex structures. ‘At Divergent Microfactories, we’ve found a way to make automobiles that holds the promise of radically reducing the resource use and pollution generated by manufacturing. ‘It also holds the promise of making large-scale car manufacturing affordable for small teams of innovators.’ The Blade is made using a proprietary solution called a Node: a 3D-printed aluminum joint that connects pieces of carbon fiber tubing to make up the car’s chassis.
This solves the problem of time and space by cutting down on the actual amount of 3D printing required to build the chassis and can be assembled in just minutes. In addition to dramatically reducing materials and energy use, the weight of the Node-enabled chassis is up to 90% lighter than traditional cars, despite being much stronger and more durable. This results in better fuel economy and less wear on roads, it claims. Equipped with a 700-horsepower bi-fuel engine that can use either compressed natural gas or gasoline, Blade goes from 0-60 in about two seconds and weighs around 1,400 pounds. Divergent Microfactories plans to sell a limited number of high-performance vehicles that will be manufactured in its own microfactory. The goal is to put the platform in the hands of small entrepreneurial teams around the world, allowing them to set up their own microfactories and build their own cars and, eventually, other large complex structures. These microfactories will make innovation affordable while reducing the health and environmental impacts of traditional manufacturing.