Kor Ecologics is beta testing a 3-D printed hybrid vehicle. It certainly makes one wonder; are 3-D printed cars the future? Will 3-D printed cars support the hybrid and electric movement?
Men have been enjoying garage hobbies for as long as there have been garages. Building, rebuilding, altering vehicles, ordering parts…but, printing your own? Designing your own car from the ground up? Is that a realistic goal or is it just a dream?
Granted, not everyone can afford a 3-D printer, even if the price rapidly declines. Also, some people are better at working with their hands, some prefer to engineer and often times its only a rare few who can do it all successfully. So what does this mean for the guy of tomorrow tinkering around in his garage? Only time will tell, but we do have a few ideas!
Even if you could only afford a small printer, you could use a 3-D printing service for the larger design pieces. For the engineering hobbyist, directions could be electronically sent to the print shop and delivered right to your garage. If the hobbyist prefers building, rather than designing, he might choose to employ an engineer or buy a published design. He could then customize and assemble the existing plan.
The next logical question might be; could 3-D printed cars be built as EVs? It is widely recognized that the technology for electric cars is cutting edge and that car companies are competing for the top spots. This would be where Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, would come in. Rather than keep Tesla’s patents protected under lock and key, he has released them to the public domain. This decision to make the leading electric car manufacturer’s patents open source would likely provide the capability to certain individuals of engineering their own electric vehicle.
Many start up companies have started with a much loved hobby. With Elon Musk releasing Tesla’s patents, and Stratasys mass marketing 3-D printers, will there be a string of EV car manufacturing start ups?