Jun 7, 2017 | By Tess

DS Automobiles, a PSA Group luxury car brand, has unveiled its newest vehicle: the DS 3 Dark Side. If you’re already captivated by the car’s name, just wait until you see what it’s packing.

The limited edition production car, with its subtle curves and dark surface, was designed with the help of two innovative technologies: metal 3D printing and 3D skin technology. The former was used to make specialized titanium components for the vehicle’s interior, while 3D skin technology was used to realize the “shark grey” surface finish, which has textured geometric patterns.

The subtle geometric patterns on the car are not only visually interesting, but are also textural, as they are actually made in relief (hence the 3D), giving the DS 3 Dark Side a unique surface finish.

DS Automobiles describes the car thusly: “From afar, DS 3 Dark Side looks sculpted from a rough, dark, mineral material. Then as you get closer you’re intrigued by the subtle geometric patterns engraved in the skin of the car. The effect is so unreal you have to reach out and touch the body to see what it feels like.”

How does 3D skin technology work? According to DS, its designers created a film with geometric patterns cut out of it. The film was then coated with a special textured paint that gives the effect of “depth and relief” to the car’s surface. The paint used for the effect has a granular texture and was reportedly “enriched with particles” for the final satin feel.

Up until now, DS had only used the 3D skin technology on its concept cars. According to the car manufacturer, the DS 3 Dark Side marks the first time that a production vehicle has used the technology.

And while we haven’t had the chance to touch the car, we can say that we’ve never seen anything quite like it; the DS 3 Dark Side has an unmistakeable futuristic quality.

As for 3D printing, DS says it used parametric design and metal additive manufacturing to create specially designed accents for the car’s interior. The parts, which include a door handle trim and ignition key insert, were made from titanium using a "laser fusion 3D printing process." The parts reportedly took 65 hours to additively manufacture and were each finished by hand.

The design process for the 3D printed parts is also notable, as the DS design team used advanced design software to not only model the luxury car parts but also to visualize the parts in the car. That is, the team’s design platform enabled them to virtually fit the 3D printed parts into the car’s interior to see if any size or shape adjustments needed to be made. Pretty high-tech stuff.

The limited edition DS 3 Dark Side is available in two versions: a light version with an aluminum grey roof, diamond-cut 17” wheels, and chrome mirror shells; and an “uncompromising dark” version with onyx black roof and mirror shells, and 17” black wheels. Both versions are equipped with either PureTech 110 S&S or PureTech 130 S&S.

If the DS 3 Dark Side seems like your kind of car, you can expect to dish out between €26,200 and €27,850 ($29,490 and $31,346) for it.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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