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Meet the Blade, the World’s First 3-D Printed Supercar

posted: 06/29/15
by: Cody Barr, Velocity.com
The Blade
Divergent Microfactories

The future of auto manufacturing is here, thanks to startup company Divergent Microfactories. Enter the Blade, the first ever supercar to employ 3-D printing technology. It is as efficient as it is sleek and powerful.

Divergent Microfactories, based out of San Fransisco, employed a 3-D printer to create the groundbreaking chassis of this jaw-dropping supercar. Aluminum joints called Nodes connect to aerospace carbon fiber tubing to form the Blade's chassis. The structure utilizes approximately 61 pounds of aluminum and 41 pounds of carbon fiber, according to the manufacturer. In total, the chassis weighs a mere 102 pounds. But fear not skeptics, the chassis has undergone the appropriate testing and is actually industrial strength. The construction of the chassis, however, has a striking resemblance to your old K'NEX set and takes less than an hour by hand.

The Blade's revolutionary skeleton allows for a 90 percent reduction in the vehicle's overall weight -- it tips the scale at 1,388 pounds. The new lightweight infrastructure and its 700HP bi-fuel engine allow the vehicle to accelerate at enviable speeds, reaching 60 mph in just 2.2 seconds.

The goal, however, is to widen the usage of the Node design and technology to sedans and pickups. Divergent Microfactories hopes this process will not only revolutionize automobile construction, but also encourage a reduction in emissions.

"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," said Kevin Czinger, founder & CEO of Divergent Microfactories.

According to an analysis published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, the construction of gas-powered cars produces approximately 14,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide, which is 17% of its lifetime emissions. Electric cars are not perfect either: the study found that their production produces 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide.

This post originally appeared on Velocity

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