Skip to main content

3D-printing startup working with Peugeot to rethink the ways cars are made

Divergent Microfactories Blade DEBUTS #SOLIDCON 6/24/15
We hear a huge amount about automotive revolutions like self-driving cars, but the way that vehicles are manufactured is changing just as much as the way they are being driven.

Case in point, a 3D-printing startup called Divergent 3D, which has just inked a letter of intent with top automaker Peugeot to bring its technology to the factory floor. Divergent’s technology calls for cutting-edge 3D-metal printing, which will aid Peugeot in dramatically reducing the weight of its car bodies, in addition to a plethora of other benefits.

“If you consider the chassis of a standard five-person vehicle, you can look to have a reduction of up to 50 percent of the vehicle,” Kevin Czinger, founder and CEO of Divergent 3D, told Digital Trends. “That’s the heaviest part of a vehicle. On top of that, you can also reduce the number of parts by 75 percent and capital investment costs by an order of magnitude. Taken together, this is a total change to the way things are [currently] done.”

Divergent’s technology allows for traditional time-consuming tooling methods requiring welding and fixturing to be replaced with modular structures built from 3D-printed nodes that connect standardized materials developed for the aerospace industry.

While additive manufacturing has been used throughout the auto industry for small-scale pilot programs focused on individual components, Divergent’s method offers a rethink of the way cars are put together. The hoped-for result will be automobiles that are lighter, more structurally safe, cost-efficient, and environmentally responsible.

With billions of dollars of traditional tooling machines already in place in automotive shops around the world, it may be some time before Divergent 3D’s dream is a widespread one but in the short term, it has captured imaginations.

“Our hope and belief is that once we commercialize and validate this technology with the first few OEMs, people will see that the advantages to doing this — economic, innovation and environmental — are so powerful that this becomes the standard way of manufacturing over the next decade,” Czinger said.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Need a last-minute Halloween costume? Check out these 3D-printable getups
3D printed Halloween costumes

Still not sure what to dress up as for Halloween this year? Well, instead of frantically scrambling around town looking for the right shop with the right stuff, have you considered 3D printing your Halloween costume? Check out our list of 3D-printable masks and costume pieces to get all geared up for this year's spooking, then fire up that printer.

If you've already finished your costume and want to get started on your scary movie watchlist, we've put together a list of the best horror movies on Netflix.
Squid Game soldier mask

Read more
NASA is testing a 3D printer that uses moon dust to print in space
The Redwire Regolith Print facility suite, consisting of Redwire's Additive Manufacturing Facility, and the print heads, plates and lunar regolith simulant feedstock that launches to the International Space Station.

The Redwire Regolith Print facility suite, consisting of Redwire's Additive Manufacturing Facility and the print heads, plates, and lunar regolith simulant feedstock that launches to the International Space Station. Redwire Space

When a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) this week, it carried a very special piece of equipment from Earth: A 3D printer that uses moon dust to make solid material.

Read more
The best 3D printers under $500
3D printers are finally affordable. Here are the best models under $500
anycubic photon review 3d printer xxl 2

The 3D printing market has seen quite a few changes over the last few years. In just the span of a decade, the barrier to entry has dropped from well over several thousand dollars to under $200 in some cases. However, all entry and mid-level printers are not made equal. We have a few suggestions for prospective buyers and other information regarding alternatives not found on this list.

To some veterans of the 3D printing scene, this list may seem like it lacks a few of the most commonly recommended printers for newcomers. This is by design. Our list only considers printers with tested components from proven, reliable vendors. That's why we chose the Monoprice MP Mini v2 as our top pick--it's reliable and easy to use. We have avoided any printer with a frame primarily made from interlocking acrylic pieces and anything historically unreliable.
Most bang for your buck: Monoprice MP Mini v2

Read more