At first glance, this looks like a Shelby Cobra replica, but it’s much more than that.
That’s because this is a 3D-printed car that took, from conception to finished product, approximately six weeks to accomplish. Don’t worry, this is the rational thing to do when you get your hands on a 3D-printer.
The car celebrates the 50th anniversary of the original and also showcases the Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine that will give car manufacturers an alternative to clay modeling and various molds techniques that help shape carbon fiber, plastic, or metal into components. The Big Area Additive Manufacturing, also known as BAAM, is the 3D-printer in question that created the car’s components.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory was in charge of the entire project and used carbon fiber reinforced plastic to manufacture some of the car’s parts. The entire bodywork, chassis, grille, support-frame and even the headrests were fabricated by the 3D-printer and yes, the car is in full working order.
Now, don’t think the printed parts were ready directly from the printer and everything went together like Lego bricks. No, the guys at ORNL had to sand down and shape each component, giving the car a top notch overall look. Furthermore, it took only 24 hours to print the car’s parts and 8 hours to print the tooling equipment.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t print something as complex as an engine, so they’ve used a 100-kilowatt electric motor instead. In fact, because the whole contraption weighs only 1,400-lb (635-kg), the 0 to 60 mph time is under 5 seconds.
You can see the creating process of the car in the video below.
By Bogdan Zoltan
H/T to Boldride!