World’s first fully 3D printed concept car is a tribute to David Bowie

Japanese designer Takumi Yamamoto has teamed up with MARIE 3D to produce the world’s first fully 3D printed, full-scale concept car as a tribute to David Bowie. The DB Project car will be on display at the Festival Automobile International (FAI) in Paris from January 31 to February 3.

“It’s the first time in our 34-year history that we’re exhibiting a full-scale car that has been entirely produced with 3D printing,” stated FAI President, Rémi Depoix. “Yamamoto’s concept car demonstrates immense creativity… I am very impressed with this new technology. It opens up new opportunities in terms of creativity and design for the automotive industry.” That it does. 3D printing could cut design times substantially as concept cars are usually sculpted from clay by hand, an expensive and time-consuming step.

Yamamoto, designer of the GT by Citroen, is a long-time fan of Bowie and wanted to honor him through his design skills. The idea occurred to him over 20 years ago and he originally wanted to collaborate with Bowie on the project; he still has the first sketches. But with his unfortunate passing, the project turned into an homage. “The design incorporates a core body that represents and ‘protects’ the inner Bowie while the intricate, outer body is designed with different looks from various perspectives in homage to the singer’s chameleon-like personality. Crystals were chosen to reflect the purity of Bowie’s lyrical and musical message.”

The DB Project car certainly looks like a sculpture, even if it is coming out of a MASSIVit 1800 3D printer. MASSIVit makes large-format 3D printers that use Gel Dispensing Printing (GDP) technology, a process where dispensed gel material is quickly cured with UV light. Parts come out fully cured and require no post processing, and they can be as large as 57” x 44” x 70”. Their software also makes all models hollow, greatly reducing material usage and thus the costs and time required to 3D print.

MARIE 3D is a French studio that specializes in large-format 3D printing and they recently acquired a MASSIVit 1800. They’re producing the parts that will make up the DB concept car and Philippe Marie related his excitement concerning the project: “This was an exciting challenge combining a work of art with a prototype… We embarked on the project to demonstrate the capabilities of our MASSIVit 3D printer in terms of size, speed and reliability. This technology provides a faster and significantly more cost-effective alternative to the conventional processes, supports design creativity, geometric freedom and smoother production.”

Thankfully, 3D printing allows for fast production of complex shapes so they’ll definitely make their deadline. Come back in early February to see pictures of the finished product.

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