Sunday, 3 August 2014

3D Printed Car

Some thoughts that resulted from a conversation over dinner with friends.

We were talking about Land Rovers and replacing or welding inner wings that have rusted.  The outer wing bolts on but the inner needs welding.

It would be much easier if cars clicked together like Lego bricks.

As children my brother and I deliberately made cars out of Lego as strong as possible and smashed them together.  The winner was the car that survived the longest.  Based on those early 'scientific' experiments I reckon that Lego would be strong enough to make a full sized car.

I have no idea how heavy it would be but that got me thinking.

Why are cars a shell of thin metal.  Why not make cars out of solid sections with a light weight interior.

That is exactly how 3D printers create solid objects with the minimum amount of plastic.  The insides are a hollow honey comb type structure with a solid skin.

At the moment low cost 3D printers are too small to make a body section for a full sized car but the parts could be made to intersect like a jigsaw or clip together like Lego.  How great would it be if, when you had a dent or something broke, you just printed out a replacement section.

It adds all sorts of possibilities.  Cars could be made with weaker and lighter components knowing that if a bit breaks off you just print out a new one.

I expect there are loads of other possibilities if the starting point is not pressed steel.

Just my thoughts for the morning.

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