The world’s first 3D printed, full-scale concept car will soon be unveiled thanks to the collaborative efforts of Massivit 3D Printing Technologies, Marie 3D and car designer Takumi Yamamoto.
It will be unveiled at the Festival Automobile International (FAI) taking place in Paris from 31 January to 3 February. FAI President, Rémi Depoix, said, ‘It is the first time in our 34-year history that we are exhibiting a full-scale car that has been entirely produced with 3D printing. Yamamoto’s concept car demonstrates immense creativity. We were keen to support this project and present the car almost as a piece of art, very much like a sculpture. I am very impressed with this new technology. It opens up new opportunities in terms of creativity and design for the automotive industry.’
Yamamoto, designer of the esteemed GT by Citroen and a former leading designer at the PSA Peugeot Advanced Design Studio, is the creative force behind this concept car, which is a consummation of his life-long passions for car design and David Bowie.
Paris-based Marie 3D identified that 3D printing was the only feasible production method for implementing the concept car due to its capability to produce complex and creative geometry forms. Traditional manufacturing methods, including CNC routing, would have proven limited in terms of realising Yamamoto’s vision. Furthermore, 3D printing turned out to be more cost-effective, having a faster production speed and less waste production.
The car has been 3D printed on Marie 3D’s Massivit 1800 large format 3D printer. The company has an established standing in the automobile industry and this innovative project, leveraging managing director Philippe Marie’s expertise in prototyping as well as his timely adoption of a Massivit 3D printer, has paved the way for an entirely new approach to producing concept prototypes.
This new concept prototype production method has provided the perfect expression of Yamamoto’s imaginative and emotive dream to build a David Bowie-inspired concept car that embodies Bowie’s key personal and physical traits. 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.
Marie 3D’s managing director Philippe Marie said, ‘This was an exciting challenge combining a work of art with a prototype. We especially enjoyed the fact that this is the first project that has allowed us complete creative control, independent of serving a car manufacturer. We have made the most of this total creative freedom. 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.’
He added, ‘This concept car exposes a completely new method and capabilities for prototyping through 3D printing. Our goal now is to expose the possibilities to the automotive world.’
Amir Veresh, VP business development and marketing at Massivit 3D confirmed, ‘This project highlights how Massivit 3D’s large format 3D printing technology facilitates fresh opportunities for scale 1:1 concept prototyping and is sure to fuel the imagination of tomorrow’s car designers and manufacturers. We are absolutely thrilled to partner in this inspirational project.’
Other important players in the project include industrial designer Cyrille Ancely and CG artist Alexandre Larnac. Ancelly worked on bringing Yamamoto’s dream to life by developing the design and transforming the concept into a 3D model. Larnac turned the concept car’s screen-based 3D model into realistic renderings and animations, giving the impression that the car was actually driving on the road while keeping the artistic inspiration of David Bowie’s spirit.