Can We Really 3D Print Cars and Car Parts?

Imagine a day when the intrepid tinkerer can download, print, and build a car in his or her own garage. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s coming sooner than you think. Additive manufacturing, better known as 3-D printing, is already a $4.1 billion global industry, and analysts project that advancements in technology will cause it to quadruple in growth over the next five years.

While the technology has the power to transform everything from the practice of medicine to how we eat, 3-D printing has already transformed the way cars are built, and it’s only a matter of time before downloadable cars transform everything from auto repairs to how we buy our cars.

In 2013, 3-D printing made headlines when a group called Defense Distributed uploaded CAD designs for a 3-D printable working handgun to its website. While the potentially dangerous files were taken down by the U.S. State Department, it ignited just how advanced the technology had become, and sparked a national debate on how design, copyrights, and public safety will be regulated in a future where once-complicated engineering can be downloaded and printed in the privacy of one’s home. … (read more)


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