3D Printers Are Fueling The Future Of Automobile Design


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Car designers are some of the most creative people in the world. A quick trip to an automobile trade show will prove that point pretty quickly. With the advent of 3D printing, these creatives will be able to realize their ideas even faster than before.

The Stratasys blog recently had a chance to talk with the folks at Bentley Motors about how their designers are using 3D printers to revolutionize the design process. With a multi-material Objet500 Connex 3D printer, the designers are able to produce scale models, and even full-scale models, of its latest cars. These models help them test new designs before they move into mass manufacturing.

Of course, car manufacturers using 3D printers is nothing new. Back in August of last year, Audi revealed that it started to prototype vehicle parts using 3D printers. Car enthusiast Jay Leno also revealed that he had been using 3D printers to replace car parts that were no longer produced.

More impressive than either of those examples, however, is a small company called Kor Ecologic that is aiming to make the first street-legal 3D printed car. The entire car, barring the engine, is printed with a hard ABS plastic that's lightweight yet durable. The team has already enjoyed a number of successful road tests, and hope to be in full production in the next few years.

[Image: Stratasys/YouTube]