Divergent Microfactories’ Blade – a new concept has gone a tad too far by combining 3D printing with a roaring 700 HP bi-fuel engine. “With this approach we can build a very strong and very light chassis, and do so while saving energy and generating less pollution”, Divergent said. “The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly”, said Kevin Czinger, founder & CEO, Divergent Microfactories. The technology has managed to trigger investors’ interest and it could be adopted by many auto manufacturers in the future. Blade offers the opportunity to not only reinvent the way we make cars, but revolutionize the way that we make really fast cars or supercars. While it’s not the first use of 3D printing in automotive we’ve seen – Local Motors revealed its fully-printed Strati last year, for instance – Blade distinguishes itself with its combination of 3D printing and carbon fiber assembly that, its inventors argue, deliver the best of flexibility and speed of construction.
The Blade showcases an innovative and futuristic manufacturing process, the basis of which are 3D printed aluminium ‘Node’ joints, which connect printed carbon fibre tubes together to form the structural cradle. Among other problems solved by the Node include cutting down on the amount of 3D printing required to build the chassis as well as the time to assemble the vehicle components – which is reduced to just minutes.
Promising fuel economy and lesser wear on the road, the company claimed that the chassis made out of Node results in 90% decrease in weight as against traditional vehicles.
While the ability to create their own cars using their technology is one thing, Divergent Microfactories plans on releasing the platform into the hands of entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world in an effort to help them set up their own microfactories to build their own cars and complex structures. But these cost-effective cars could drastically reduce the impact automobiles have on the environment.
Kevin Czinger, Divergent’s founder and chief executive, said the company is looking to raise $10 million to build a plant over the next 18 months to hone the tooling needed for the vehicle, reported the Financial Times. Many start-ups initially eye on bringing their methods under the market scanner in order to attain investments and that’s what Divergent Microfactories is also trying to achieve.
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