Green cars are more popular than ever, but the manufacturing process for even the greenest car is still pretty dirty. Automotive designer Kevin Czinger recognized the unfortunate irony, and founded Divergent Microfactories to address the problem with 3D printing. The California company developed its own 3D-printing technology to produce a prototype of Blade, the world’s first 3D-printed supercar.
“Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars. The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly,” said Kevin Czinger, founder and CEO of Divergent Microfactories. The San Francisco-based company is trying to change all that by making a stylish supercar that doesn’t sacrifice good looks for green ethics.
Divergent is accomplishing this goal by going about the car-building process in an entirely different way. The company developed a 3D-printed aluminum Node joint, which connects pieces of carbon fiber tubing to make up the car’s frame. This makes the manufacturing process faster and also needs less space than traditional car assembly, hence the production in “microfactories.”
Czinger claims his company’s new process also dramatically reduces material and energy use. The result is Blade, an eco-friendly supercar, produced in a highly efficient and green process, that weighs 90 percent less than traditional cars but is stronger and sturdier. Blade boasts a 700-horsepower bi-fuel engine (powered by either compressed natural gas or gasoline) and can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in about two seconds. A limited (but as yet unknown) number of Blade models will be produced for sale, and the company hasn’t set a price yet. Not to worry – Divergent plans to franchise its technology soon so that other microfactories can produce their own 3D-printed supercars. Sign us up.
Images via Divergent Microfactories