Jan 8, 2017 | By Julia

Divergent 3D's Blade, The world's first 3D printed supercar is shown off at CES 2017 in Las Vegas this week, and it is perhaps the show's most exciting car on display.

For those unaware, Divergent 3D has been no stranger to the media these past few years. Back in 2015, Divergent 3D CEO Kevin Czinger unveiled the Blade, the world’s first 3D printed supercar prototype. A huge statement piece, the Blade evolved from Divergent’s proprietary technology called the Node: a 3D printed aluminum joint that connects pieces of carbon fiber tubing to make up the car’s chassis. That meant a powerful chassis about 90% lighter than most.

the Blade

In September 2016, Divergent 3D sealed a major partnership with luxury car maker Peugeot, heralding a new age of major car manufacturers working together with 3D printing companies. Then late last year, Czinger and Divergent 3D made headlines again with the company’s first 3D printed superbike, the Dagger, unveiled November 2016 at the LA Auto Show. Featuring a 3D printed chassis and the original Kawasaki H2 engine, the Dagger was more of a declaration than a road-ready motorbike. Czinger wanted to show the automotive industry what 3D printing was capable of.

the Dagger

Now, his audience seems to have finally taken notice. Divergent 3D has created a software-hardware platform enabled by 3D metal printing (the Divergent Manufacturing Platform™) that radically transforms auto manufacturing economics and environmental impact. Divergent’s platform allows car manufacturers to design and develop lightweight, high-performance components that are critical in building the next generation of vehicles. Divergent 3D’s additive manufacturing tech allows engineers to customize car components endlessly, granting even greater control over design and assembly. In the future, cars will be manufactured at a fraction of today’s upfront capital cost, with far faster product cycles and far less environmental destruction. Divergent 3D calls its approach Planet-Saving Manufacturing.

Divergent 3D CEO Kevin Czinger

Peugeot is among the first brand name car manufacturers to take advantage of these methods. And while the company hasn’t yet released any details about specific goals, or even how many prints will be made, the strategic partnership with Divergent 3D suggests we’ll be seeing a lot more collaborations like this in the years to come. The Peugeot-Divergent deal is essentially the first step in a long journey for major carmakers, but one that is expected to pay off.

Of course, the race hasn’t been won yet. Many car companies remain reluctant to wholeheartedly embrace the advantages of industrial additive manufacturing, as the speed of most 3D printers at the moment is better suited for prototyping than mass production. Still, as companies like Divergent 3D continue to develop new partnerships and methods, increasingly fast, reliable tech will most certainly follow.

For now, Czinger is entirely optimistic of the potential trend. “We’ve developed a sustainable path forward for the car industry that we believe will result in a renaissance in car manufacturing,” he said.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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Jon Stern wrote at 1/9/2017 6:29:56 AM:

Peugeot is a mainsteam (French) car manufacturer, not a luxury one.



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