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3D Printable World Car

Not 3D printed. 3D printable.
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Car with easily replaceable parts that can be 3D printed. Aimed at a low price for the global market. 3D models available for download.

I live in a city, and simply parking on the street means I'm constantly getting bumpers and side panels scratched up by other cars. Each time involves insurance companies, estimates, auto body shops, and being without this vehicle for days to weeks. It's all rather inconvenient.

At the same time, I care more about function than form and don't really need some shiny 4-topcoated parts. Something simple that works would be fine. Wouldn't it be great to send a file to a local 3D printer, and be able to replace a panel myself? Make it out of a recyclable type of plastic and I could just recycle the old one and pay a pretty small price for the new one.

So the idea: This car would be factory made, but as many pieces as possible would be 3D printable and easily removed and reattached. The finish would not be high-quality, and this would be marketed as a lowish cost world car. Parts would be available for download, to be printed anywhere.

Demand for this product would come from the lower total cost of ownership that comes with easily replaceable parts. It would also come from the ability to easily customize components.

Worldgineer, Jan 08 2019

World Car https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_car
The phrase world car is an engineering strategy used to describe an automobile designed to suit the needs of global automotive markets with minimal changes in each market it is sold in. [Voice, Jan 09 2019]

Death of the linear https://www.carbon3d.com/
stepping stone till a full wholistic liquid print [wjt, Jan 09 2019]

Fractal 3D printing https://gizmodo.com...stronger-than-steel
Supposedly stronger than steel [scad mientist, Jan 09 2019]

[link]






       I like the idea, but sadly 3D printing can't handle car sized parts, well, some can but they're so rare getting a regular part sent will be faster. The economics are also horrid for 3D printing. I love drawing up custom parts for RC cars but a large part is $40-80 even at 1/10 scale. It would be nice if manufacturers could make files available for various specific brackets/knobs/other small widgets. I'm sure they don't enjoy managing spares when they drop below profitability.
bs0u0155, Jan 08 2019
  

       // 3D printing can't handle car sized parts //   

       Not yet. But soon, perhaps sooner than expected. There's big money to be made and lots of companies are interested, for all sorts of applications - vide NASA's "Mars Printer" project*.   

       The issue is more likely guaranteeing that any printed parts meet the original specification to meet safety criteria.   

       *Don't get excited. NASA don't have the technology to 3D-print an entire planet** - they're simply proposing to send a 3D printer on a manned Mars mission so that parts can be manufactured on site, as required.   

       **although there are some life-forms that can, Squire Trelane of Gothos among them.
8th of 7, Jan 08 2019
  

       (+) There are videos of people printing their own tail-light covers, knobs and such, so bumpers aren't too far behind... or ahead.   

       // people printing their own ... knobs and such //   

       Great, the logical progression of Sturton's inexplicable fascination with misusing photocopiers.   

       It's whoever has to clean the glass afterwards that we feel sorry for.
8th of 7, Jan 08 2019
  

       Seems like an engineering problem more than anything. I can design a bumper made up of 100 replaceable pieces, each small enough to print on my home 3D printer.
Worldgineer, Jan 09 2019
  

       Sure, but it would weigh far too much. There's this problem of handling, rotational inertia in bad places like extremities.   

       What you need are flat panels and simple beams which are stock, and possibly 3D printed joint interfaces where they connect together.
RayfordSteele, Jan 09 2019
  

       When I was in Papua New Guinea in the 70s, you’d frequently see VW Beetles in various state of being taken apart, put back together, cannibalisation or sometimes actually complete and working. Apparently they’re one of those highly service- friendly designs like the DC-3 or the Routemaster. Someone could set up a smack-in-the-teeth-starter type thing to crowdsource a 3D printable Open Source Beetle (electric, maybe).
Ian Tindale, Jan 09 2019
  

       Printing a fractal-like beam can result in a beam that is stronger then steel. See link. I'm sure the 10,000x example is irrelevant for practical purposes, but with 3D printing it is possible to create light weight mostly hollow structures with internal bracing having a very high strength to weight ratio. A steel beam of the same shape would of course be even stronger, but would be very difficult to construct.   

       Efficiently connecting smaller parts would be much harder. Connections with bolts or any other snap- together system requires a lot more material around those point loads, probably losing a lot of the advantage of this method.   

       One possibility for manufacturing a multi-part piece with complex internal structure might be to take the design, split it along a plane and fill the cut with a thin layer of material on both sides of the plane. Find some way to bond these two planes together, and that will effectively connect all internal members. Now having that extra plane of material through the piece might not be ideal, but probably isn't highly detrimental. Depending on the method of bonding, that plane of material might be fairly thin.
scad mientist, Jan 09 2019
  

       // Someone could set up a smack-in-the-teeth-starter type thing //   

       I don't imagine this concept will be very popular if it only works for crank-start cars.
notexactly, Jan 15 2019
  

       Elon Musk is far too rich to be called a crank; you have to call him "eccentric" or "idiosyncratic".
8th of 7, Jan 15 2019
  
      
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