Jun 27, 2017 | By Benedict

Television star Jay Leno has driven Divergent Microfactories’ 3D printed Blade supercar in an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. The 1,400 lb car can purportedly go from 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds.

Here’s something I need to confess: when I listed Divergent Microfactories’ 3D printed Blade supercar on our list of 25 3D printed cars from around the world last year, I wasn’t convinced that the project would take off in a big way.

Kevin Czinger, Divergent’s entrepreneurial founder, had built a car with aluminum 3D printed joints, or “nodes,” which form the car’s chassis along with tubes of carbon fiber. The car looked stunning, and could supposedly hit 60 mph in just a couple of seconds. But the scale of the project seemed hugely ambitious—perhaps overly so.

Czinger didn’t just want to produce a handful of cars; he wanted to fundamentally change the way the automotive industry worked, establishing so-called “microfactories” that could rapidly manufacture (and repair) cars like the Blade all around the world, drastically cutting down shipping time and costs and helping the environment in the process.

Turns out Czinger was onto something.

Over the last year, Divergent Microfactories has raised huge sums of money, won awards, and even partnered with SLM Solutions, one of the world’s premier metal 3D printing specialists. And now—get this—Jay Leno is on board!

The beloved comedian and television presenter has taken the 3D printed Blade supercar for a spin for his TV show Jay Leno’s Garage. During the twenty-five-minute episode, Leno drives the car, chats to Czinger, and discusses the benefits of 3D printing in the automotive industry.

“It’s a lot of fun to drive,” Leno says as he whizzes the Blade supercar through the streets of L.A. with Czinger riding in the passenger seat behind him. “You feel like you’re in a full-size car because you’ve got the legroom and you’ve got the width.”

Although it’s hard to read exactly what Leno thinks of the Blade supercar—in addition to his praise for the vehicle, he also warns of a “little shake in the chassis”—the stats behind the 3D printed auto are certainly eye-catching. Weighing just 1,400 lbs and packing a 700-horsepower Mitsubishi Evo engine, the Blade can go from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds. Its top speed is around 200 mph.

Later on in the episode, Czinger also demonstrates a modified Kawasaki H2 motorcycle that is around 20 percent lighter than the factory model thanks to new 3D printed elements. Clearly, Czinger isn’t about to settle for one 3D printed car: he wants to revolutionize the entire world of motors.

Divergent Microfactories already seemed well on the way to success within the automotive industry, but the added exposure from Leno’s show will no doubt bring the unusual 3D printed Blade supercar to a wider audience.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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