Next-generation manufacturing helped recreate this classic sports car.
Scientists at the federal Oak Ridge National Laboratory used a 3-D printer — a really big one — to make a car modeled after the Shelby Cobra, an iconic 1960s car.
Oak Ridge is the largest U.S. Department of Energy science and energy laboratory. Its “Big Area Additive Manufacturing Machine” can crank out just about any shape based on a digital model. Additive manufacturing is a type of 3-D printing that adds layers of materials to create objects.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry stepped into the driver’s seat of the 3-D printed car and did a test drive recently. He called the 3-D printed Shelby Cobra, “a real-world example of additive manufacturing’s incredible potential.” “The auto industry could save energy and time with this type of additive manufacturing,” Perry wrote on Facebook.
The laboratory, based in Tennessee, collaborates with private companies to turn its technologies into new products and manufacturing processes. The 3-D printing technology developed in the lab could allow car makers to take a design concept and turn it into a road-ready car in six weeks. The parts themselves can print in 24 hours.
Check out the 3-D printer in action as it manufactures the car’s chassis: