3D-printed eco-friendly supercar does 0-60 in 2 seconds
Designed and built using the company’s 3D-printing-based Node Technology Platform, the prototype – called Blade – is offered as "one of the greenest and most powerful cars in the world." Powered by either compressed gas or gasoline and equipped with a four-cylinder rear-mounted 700-horsepower engine, Blade goes from 0-60 mph in about two seconds and weighs 1,388 lb.
The key technology building block behind Blade is a 3D-printed aluminum alloy joint – called a "node" – that connects pieces of carbon fiber tubing to make up the car’s chassis. The use of such nodes reduces the amount of 3D printing needed to build the chassis compared to other approaches and results in an industrial strength chassis that can be assembled in a matter of minutes – in this case less than 30 minutes by hand (see video below (0:57)).
The company hopes to "democratize auto manufacturing" by enabling small entrepreneurial teams around the world to set up microfactories using the Divergent platform and to build their own eco-friendly cars and, later, other large complex structures. The ultimate goal is to reduce the health and environmental impacts of traditional manufacturing (see video below (4:55)).
"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," says Kevin Czinger, founder & CEO, Divergent Microfactories. "At Divergent Microfactories, we’ve found a way to make automobiles that holds the promise of radically reducing the resource use and pollution generated by manufacturing. It also holds the promise of making large-scale car manufacturing affordable for small teams of innovators. And as Blade proves, we’ve done it without sacrificing style or substance."
Meanwhile, the company plans to sell a limited number of high-performance vehicles that it will manufacture in its own microfactory. According to the company, such a factory could produce anywhere from a few cars to 10,000 cars per year.
Divergent Microfactories: www.divergentmicrofactories.com