Blade supercar has bi-fuel engine, signifies 3D-print platform

Blade supercar has bi-fuel engine, signifies 3D-print platform

Divergent Microfactories made a name for itself this week with a twin announcement of its supercar prototype and the business platform underlying the car. It's all about 3D printing and the claims are impressive.

The company announced they have built the world's first 3D-printed supercar Blade. The total weight of the is 1,388 pounds; it goes from 0 to 60 in about two seconds. Engine? The car uses a 700 HP, 4-cylinder turbocharged fueled by or gasoline.

The other part of the announcement was its business intention and technology platform. Divergent Microfactories CEO Kevin Czinger has introduced the company's plan to "dematerialize and democratize" car manufacturing.

His goal is not to have his own company name behind volume manufacturing but to put the platform in the hands of small entrepreneurial teams around the world. He would like to make a difference in offering a sustainable manufacturing platform for the future. Czinger thought the result could be "a renaissance in car manufacturing." They could set up their own microfactories and build their own cars and, eventually, other large complex structures.

That way, innovation could be made affordable; the technology could help reduce health and environmental impacts of traditional manufacturing.

Forbes said, "Czinger isn't committed to doing all the manufacturing himself. He says his new company, Divergent Microfactories, is more interested in licensing its 3-D-printing technology to a new generation of relatively small automakers around the world."

Talking about the business plan, Czinger said,: "we will provide the necessary tools for people to set up a microfactory, and the technologies to allow them to build vehicles. We will also sell a limited number of high performance vehicles that will be manufactured in our own microfactory."

Czinger's arguments: The industry has succeeded in making greener cars but the manufacturing process, with its resource use and generated pollution, is anything but environmentally friendly. The Blade is lighter than traditional vehicles but has strength and durability. A stronger, lightweight vehicle would mean less wear on roads and fewer accident fatalities. What is more, vehicles built by smaller local teams reduce costs, time, and enhance quality. His approach would cut materials, cut the energy use, cut the pollution and cut the cost of car ,

His primary tools are 3D-printed nodes connected by carbon fiber tubing for a chassis that is assembled in minutes. The FAQ section of the company site said it took less than 30 minutes to assemble the chassis by hand.

George Anders in Forbes said, "when it comes to the chassis, Czinger's Divergent Microfactories is taking a much more audacious approach than simply fusing plastic resin."

What does the company mean by nodes?

"Nodes are the key building block we developed to build cars," according to the company. "They are made of a metal alloy and are produced using 3D printers. The nodes combined with tubes are the key components in building a car chassis."

The company said the weight of the Node-enabled chassis is up to 90 percent lighter than traditional cars. What kinds of cars could be built with their technology? Anything, they answered, from a two-seat sports car to a pickup.


Explore further

Google's new self-driving cars cruising Silicon Valley roads

More information: www.divergentmicrofactories.com/

© 2015 Tech Xplore

Citation: Blade supercar has bi-fuel engine, signifies 3D-print platform (2015, June 25) retrieved 23 March 2019 from https://techxplore.com/news/2015-06-blade-supercar-bi-fuel-signifies-3d-print.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
3308 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jun 26, 2015
Another rich mans toy....It is pretty, I'll give it that. But folks, building a high power, light weight car isn't all that difficult. A lot of people can do that. The problem is getting them certified for use on the road and getting then being able to get insurance for them.

Jun 26, 2015
A stronger, lightweight vehicle would mean less wear on roads and fewer accident fatalities.


Actual NHTSA vehicle safety data contradicts: heavier, bigger cars with parts that crush on impact are more surviveable in a crash.

Small and light cars that don't deform, or have very little to deform, subject the passengers to very high accelerations that cause internal injury, whiplash, detached retinas, broken collarbones etc. because the small mass stops and changes direction faster. While you may not die from being squished on the spot, having your spleen peek out of your mouth is not something you'd prefer either.

That's why e.g. the Smart ForTwo had to be made longer at the front and heavier to be sold in the US.

Jun 26, 2015
The Euro-NCAP and the US IIHS crash tests are done with 40% of the frontal area in collision to simulate an off-set impact to test the structural integrity of the vehicle, while the NHTSA test is 100% straight to the wall, which leads to faster deacceleration of the vehicle, which exposed the lower survivability of the smart car.


Jun 26, 2015
A stronger, lightweight vehicle would mean less wear on roads and fewer accident fatalities.


Actual NHTSA vehicle safety data contradicts: heavier, bigger cars with parts that crush on impact are more surviveable in a crash.

Small and light cars that don't deform, or have very little to deform, subject the passengers to very high accelerations that cause internal injury, whiplash, detached retinas, broken collarbones etc. because the small mass stops and changes direction faster. While you may not die from being squished on the spot, having your spleen peek out of your mouth is not something you'd prefer either.

That's why e.g. the Smart ForTwo had to be made longer at the front and heavier to be sold in the US.


And then you have to factor in the human "judgement" factor (like impaired driving) into a vehicle that does 0-60 in about 2 seconds. Another part which stood out to me.

Also no cost is mentioned.

Jun 26, 2015

And then you have to factor in the human "judgement" factor (like impaired driving) into a vehicle that does 0-60 in about 2 seconds. Another part which stood out to me.


Nobody's going to buy a supercar for daily driving. They're just too uncomfortable for that. The supercar bit is there because for the time being this technology is still too esoteric and expensive to produce a regular car at a regular price point.

The point is rather that 3D printing enables just about anyone (with a suitable printer) to reproduce any vehicle based on a pre-designed platform. This is possible because you no longer need to design and build an entire factory with production lines and parts supply chains to go along with a new design. The engineering costs drop dramatically.

The only dubious bit is the claim that lightweigh vehicles reduce fatalities.

Jun 26, 2015
Seems to me that one can design in the ability for a car to absorb force on impact (fold/crumple/etc) and reduce the stresses on the human body using this technology with lighter materials. And of course, engine sizes would be reduced due to the lower weight for the typical driving people do, so it won't do 0-60 in seconds.

My recollection is that historically, car manufacturers often produced high performance prototypes to demonstrate their technology, then sold something different for consumers. I expect to see more use of 3D printing in manufacturing of all sorts. It's even starting to be used in rocket motors.

Jun 28, 2015
Seems to me that one can design in the ability for a car to absorb force on impact (fold/crumple/etc) and reduce the stresses on the human body using this technology with lighter materials.


When it comes to plastic deformation, more material absorbs more energy. Lightweight materials and structures are very very hard to design for that kind of impact absorption because the energy has to go somewhere.

That's part of the reason why small cars are deadlier - they have a smaller margin of surviveability. When the impact energy exceeds what the materials are designed to absorb, the energy goes into the parts of the frame that aren't designed to crumple, and with less materials there you get a sudden catastrophic failure.

Kinda like an empty soda can - you can stand on it as long as it isn't deforming, but once it starts to buckle it just goes crunch.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more