3D printing could change everything we know about manufacturing and industry, A New Zealand software engineer is demonstrating the power of 3D printing by building (one 4-inch segment at a time) a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 on a Nissan Skyline chassis.
Robots have replaced people in many manufacturing jobs, but the manufacturing process as a whole remains largely unchanged. Long assembly lines slowly built up a product, especially a car, using pre-made parts. But 3D printing allows industry to build entire components, rather than shape raw materials from sheet metal, aluminum, or what have you.
Ivan Sentch is using a Solidoodle desktop 3D printer and TurboSquid CAD software to design all the needed exterior components for a ‘61 Aston martin DB4. These rare cars can fetch over a million bucks at auction, so buying one is out of the question. But building one? Well, why not. Sentch has so far put together about 2,500 4×4-inch fiberglass pieces and estimates he is over 70% done with the exterior.
Of course that is before sanding, filling, and sanding some more. There is also the matter of printing a full interior, and attaching the whole thing to a Nissan Skyline chassis. But it’s a brilliant demonstration of the capability of 3D printing, and how one day we may “take delivery” of a car that is printed on-site to our exact specifications. Talk about localizing industry.