It’s a brave new world out there for automobiles. Forget about all-electric propulsion or self driving autonomous Ubers, the real new hotness is in 3D-printed car parts. Daihatsu, the plucky little upstart of the Toyota group, has just announced that they will become the first car manufacturer to offer custom 3D-printed car parts and body panels for their little Copen model.
The Copen is a typically Japanese adorable little 2 seater. It already offers fully swappable body panels, so creating fun and funky 3D-printed versions is a natural extension of that program. The new panels themselves are a mix of bubbles, geometric shapes, and organic structures.
As it stands this is a small move made by a niche player, but fast forward a year or so and you shouldn’t be surprised to find Mercedes, BMW or especially Tesla offering something similar on their premium cars to allow customers to create truly custom cars. Get rid of the funky moonscape designs, replace them with monograms or crests and you’ve got something right up Rolls Royce’s alley.
So what would you 3D-print onto one of your car’s body panels?