As you know from our piece on 3d printed parts that helped send the latest rocket to the International Space Station, 3d printing is now being used in high end, end use manufacturing. You can now add Divergent 3D to the mix, a company which seeks to 3d print parts that when pieced together, create your choice of automobile.
Divergent's is developing a system to manufacture the car's chassis and connector parts, with the engine and electronics prefabricated.
"Divergent’s NODE connectors are the key building block we developed to build cars. They are connectors made of a metal alloy and are produced using 3D printers," the company says on its website. "The NODE connectors in conjunction with carbon fiber structural materials are the key components in building a car chassis. With this approach we can build a very strong and very light chassis, and do so while saving energy and generating less pollution."
The weight and pollution aspects are key to Divergent's mission.
"While a conventional chassis can weigh more than 1,000 pounds the frame shown in the video consists of 61 pounds of aluminum and 41 pounds of carbon fiber, but is more durable and stronger with less impact on the environment," writes Tom Spendlove at Engineering.com. "Current estimate is that a Divergent Microfactory vehicle will generate one third of the health and environmental damage that a standard 85 kiloWatt hour electric car, and the goal is move that fraction down to one fourth."