It was in 2015 that we first learned of Divergent 3D and its 3D-printed supercar, the Blade.
Although strictly a technology demonstrator, the 700-horsepower, tandem two-seater is fascinating in that it uses a new approach to manufacturing that could revolutionize the ways cars are built.
The Divergent Blade recently showed up at Jay Leno’s Garage along with Kevin Czinger, CEO and founder of Divergent 3D, to explain all its intricacies.
Instead of a unibody structure most cars of today rely on, the Blade features an internal structure made of 3D-printed sections fused together using a patented process and reinforced with carbon fiber elements.
The joining process involves 3D-printed tongue and grooves and vacuum sealed bonding techniques. The result is an industrial strength structure that can be assembled in a matter of minutes, according to Divergent 3D. Any type of body can then be placed over the structure, and all types of vehicles, including motorcycles, are possible.
To ensure optimal weight and strength characteristics, the structure is composed of various materials: aluminum for crash structures, titanium for rigid components, and carbon fiber for stiffness attributes. Divergent 3D has also developed software to design the optimal shape and composition for each of the sections.
Divergent 3D isn’t looking to become an automaker. Instead, it hopes to license its technology to the major automakers. It’s already working with France’s PSA Group to introduce 3D-printed metal components in mass-produced cars. We're sure more will follow.