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So it's just a body? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100440)

Somebody call in BBC Top Gear rubbish creation team.

Re:So it's just a body? (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100472)

Don't discount it. Once the technology improves, this could be a way of making less expensive, much stronger bodies for vehicles. You could then put whatever engine/suspension you wanted under them.

It could provide the opposite approach taken by the Trexa EV [engadget.com] .

Re:So it's just a body? (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100512)

Once the technology improves, this could be a way of making less expensive, much stronger bodies for vehicles.

Not sure about that, but am certain that it would simplify life for repairmen. It took about three weeks to obtain a mysterious minor little trim piece by the front grill for my wife's Toyota about a year ago. (the bracket-y thing by the fog lights ish area) Life would be a lot simpler if you could just print a replacement.

Re:So it's just a body? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100650)

Don't go thinking that you'll be able to just print replacement parts. 3D printing/reprapping is going to be as encumbered by copyright issues as video and audio is. Further, there will be trademark and patent issues as well (eg, printing a part with an embossed logo and/or patent numbers on it). It might wind up being simpler to go to a wrecker's and get the mystery trim from there.

Re:So it's just a body? (2, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100704)

Actually, solving these issues are maybe the single most important political issue to shape the economic face that the 21st century will have.

Irony of tools of abundance & scarcity ideolog (3, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101018)

Well, I think transcending irony is the most important issue. :-)
    http://www.pdfernhout.net/recognizing-irony-is-a-key-to-transcending-militarism.html [pdfernhout.net]
"There is a fundamental mismatch between 21st century reality and 20th century security thinking. Those "security" agencies are using those tools of abundance, cooperation, and sharing mainly from a mindset of scarcity, competition, and secrecy. Given the power of 21st century technology as an amplifier (including as weapons of mass destruction), a scarcity-based approach to using such technology ultimately is just making us all insecure. Such powerful technologies of abundance, designed, organized, and used from a mindset of scarcity could well ironically doom us all whether through military robots, nukes, plagues, propaganda, or whatever else... Or alternatively, as Bucky Fuller and others have suggested, we could use such technologies to build a world that is abundant and secure for all. So, while in the past, we had "nothing to fear but fear itself", the thing to fear these days is ironcially ... irony. :-)"

But copyright might come second? :-)
    http://www.pdfernhout.net/open-letter-to-grantmakers-and-donors-on-copyright-policy.html [pdfernhout.net]
    http://www.pdfernhout.net/on-funding-digital-public-works.html [pdfernhout.net]
    http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.misc.discuss/msg/1e499c6db59117a2?hl=en& [google.com]

Re:So it's just a body? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100736)

It is better to go to the wrecker's anyhow, as they will be the fence for the newly printed parts.

It is silly to think that after the last several generations of U.S. history people are going to keep pretending like they don't have the predatory skills that got their genetics this far.

We tried that, we ended up in pens, all the socially acceptable positions have dark sides - the black markets are coming back.

Re:So it's just a body? (5, Funny)

dwillden (521345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100770)

Naw, we can just torrent the part specs from Car-PirateBay.com and get em for free. Additionally the torrented parts have stripped out the DRM that requires the printer to use substandard plastics and intentionally place flaws and weak spots in the printing pattern to ensure a frequent replacement rate.

But then the AMIAA (Automobile Manufacturing Industry Association of America) will start suing random VIN numbers hoping to catch part-pirates.

Re:So it's just a body? (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101264)

That not funny. That's a very prophetic. Such a scenario is the future! We live in a world where Intellectual property is worth more in man hours than raw materials themselves.

Re:So it's just a body? (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100776)

Don't go thinking that you'll be able to just print replacement parts. 3D printing/reprapping is going to be as encumbered by copyright issues as video and audio is.

It's already completely legal to create knockoff replacement parts and to sell them with information stating their application so long as you do not misrepresent yourself as the company which made the originals, for example by improper use of their logos. This is already done for body parts, sensor/sender units which basically consist of a potentiometer wrapped up in some custom plastic, trim pieces, window seals, glass pieces, and basically every other piece (including interior trim) where there is sufficient demand to create a lookalike.

Or in other words, this problem has already been addressed where it applies to automotive parts, and it is not the issue you claim it to be.

Re:So it's just a body? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100778)

True for shade-tree mechanics. But even just as a supply-chain compressor it would help. In my situation it was a Toyota certified mechanic doing the work whom was delayed...

Even further up the chain, car assembly plants will have to figure out how to balance the probably higher cost of printing parts vs shutting down the entire plant while waiting for cheaper mass produced parts to arrive from subcontractors (or bust strikes at subcontractors, etc)

Re:So it's just a body? (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100782)

Now that's a fun line of thought; would the arguments for/against piracy and copying be changed when people could literally create physical items from pirated material? "Oh, where did you get that sculpture x building? Oh, off of some bittorrent. Isn't it keen?" I suppose we can create CD's with illegally copied music, but I somehow feel it would be interpreted differently.

Re:So it's just a body? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100800)

...get the mystery trim from there.

I prefer the strip joints myself.. no mystery there

Re:So it's just a body? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101378)

Just go to http://thepiratebay.org/autoparts

Re:So it's just a body? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100802)

Uh, never mind that, but where are you going to get the feedstock from? You just happen to have the basic chemicals around to create all the different types of plastic "just in case"? In every home? For items that may need to be printed every few years? How do you even know the printer is still in spec after all this time? And what if *it* breaks? This home 3D printing is just a hobby. It'll never be a Star Trek replicator to print the odd items on demand, it'll always be cheaper to mass produce things the old way. Waiting three weeks for a replacement part is not a problem with traditional mass-production, but an inherent problem in our planned-obsolescence society. You probably paid too much for it as well.
You could have had that part the next day from the factory.

Where to get the plastic & on being a hobby (2, Insightful)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100968)

Two links for videos of fixing something at home with a 3D printer:

    "YouTube - Better Living With MakerBot - Episode 1: Kitchen Lamp"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBzyZSVK_Gs [youtube.com]

    "Better Living with MakerBot - Episode 2: The Wall Socket "
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9tnqHS2vFo [youtube.com]

You could recycle plastic you already have with better home technology, in theory. Just like you can build a machine shop from "scrap":
    http://www.lindsaybks.com/dgjp/index.html [lindsaybks.com]

What does it mean to say it is "cheaper" to mass produce things than print them on demand if you need to incur costs when you store them, ship them around, wait for them, secure them, deal with sending back wrong orders, keep track of stuff, and still need to repair and replace stuff on demand anyway? If that made sense, why do people have 2D printers at home when it is probably "cheaper" in some sense to print everything at a large central facility and have it mailed to you in boxes once a month?

If your 3D printer breaks, you ask your friend to print you a replacement part. Or you use another 3D printer you have at home. What do you do when you misconfigure a Debian system and it won't boot? You use another computer to surf the web looking for a solution and to create a boot CD-ROM or boot USB Flash drive.

Anyway, maybe it is good that it is "just a hobby" (even as that is not quite true), because 3D printers are part of ushering in "the end of work (as we know it)".

Related group I'm involved with:
  http://groups.google.com/group/openmanufacturing [google.com]

Re:So it's just a body? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100998)

Don't discount it. Once the technology improves, this could be a way of making less expensive, much stronger bodies for vehicles.

Right. But the paper jams are going to be murder to fix.

Re:So it's just a body? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100532)

I bought a person at walmart. By person, I mean clothes.

Re:So it's just a body? (2, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101080)

Even as I agree with your point: http://www.robots-dreams.com/2010/02/3d-printing-robot-parts-is-a-reality-already-video.html [robots-dreams.com]
"We often get into discussions and debates about the potential for 3D printing, especially as it relates to robotics. We tend to take the positive side of the debate, and paint a rosy picture of what we believe to be a not-too-distant future where researchers, developers, and even hobbyists will be able to crank out real-world manifestations of their dream concepts, and test them under practical conditions at reasonable cost and with very short timeframes. ... Well, now we have a great example to actually show them..."

Paper car = not smart (1)

Micahsa (815660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100442)

That's all well and good but I bet all that folded paper won't hold up too well in the rain.

Re:Paper car = not smart (1)

dredwolff (978347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100544)

Heh, maybe you should do a little research on rapid prototyping. Usually the printed material is plastic.

Re:Paper car = not smart (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100680)

Whosh

Re:Paper car = not smart (5, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100586)

The material used in the stratasys printers is ABS, it's a production grade resin. We have two of these rapid prototyping machines at work, and what they can do is amazing. The biggest problem with these devices is that they have fairly low tolerances usually around .005"(.1mm) and contoured part surfaces are fairly rough. That can be fixed with a little sanding/subtractive machining though.

The capability to think something up and have it in your hands within hours without involving skilled machinists is incredible.

Re:Paper car = not smart (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100844)

So maybe you'd know... what does this stuff weigh?

I know resin can be tough, but it's going to be hard to beat steel for strength. Sheet steel produces very, very light bodies that can keep passengers from getting crushed. (Deceleration is a separate problem, for airbags and seatbelts.)

Getting it printed up fast is neat, but if the resulting car weighs ten tons to be equivalently safe, it's going to have rotten mileage and handle like a cow.

Re:Paper car = not smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34101208)

After wetting, the papier-mâché is hardened by heating and coated in Testors paint, for a bright, durable, long-lasting finish. Only after this are the three D's printed on door panels and trunk.

You wouldn't steal a car... (5, Funny)

Zigurd (3528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100448)

You wouldn't steal a car.

But would you download one?

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100490)

My body says "no", but my Demonoid account says "yes".

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

deander2 (26173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100514)

hell yea!

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100578)

I'd love to download the plans for a Metallica-alloy vehicle.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34101150)

Better hope you don't run into my Dragonforce car, because we all know which is the hardest metal known to man.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100664)

I would, but the charge for exceeding the bandwidth caps imposed by the telco... It'd be cheaper to buy one.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (4, Funny)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100692)

You wouldn't steal a car.

But would you download one?

Because of this post alone, Canada will enact a car piracy tax on all 3D printers and 3D "ink" to cover the losses car manufacturers will suffer due to pirated printed cars.

See what you have done!!!! Poor Canadians!!!!

PS. Please do not note all the other things that can be pirated with a 3D Printer else they will include additional taxes for the toy, furniture, and decoration industries!!!

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101102)

I'd gladly pay a couple of hundred quid on the cost of a 3D printer to cover the cost of being able to download any car I want.

Wait, I'm expected to buy the car plans and parts as well? It's lynch-mob time.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101188)

Think of profits..er.. I mean the children of rich people..er.. I mean the Chinese workers that build the parts far away..er..I mean the environment.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

cacba (1831766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100732)

I wonder what kind of artifacts compression will create.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100906)

Having played with some larger 3D modelling files (my buddy pretty much built a tractor in 3D models), a few hundred MB gets you a lot. Compression is also effective on them. Think of it as downloading a movie, but getting a lot more value for the bytes.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (2, Informative)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100798)

Oblig: Printcrime by Cory Coctorow - http://craphound.com/?p=573 [craphound.com] It's just a short story, but makes the point quite well.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100832)

Absolutely, present the .STL files and I'll download one right now.

Re:You wouldn't steal a car... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101096)

You still have to procure the raw material, the parts which can't be made via direct manufacturing, and assemble the car.

This is the first car... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100466)

...to double as an eco-friendly coffin.

Re:This is the first car... (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100590)

Burying that much plastic as a coffin is not eco-friendly. With most 3d printer "ink"-plastic it should be feasible to re-melt the stuff into base material and that would qualify for cradle2cradle, and therefore it would be eco-friendly.

Jetson's Space Car? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100494)

Looks very cool, just don't know what would happen during a high speed crash. Maybe it would bounce off the other cars and land safely in the distance?

Re:Jetson's Space Car? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100610)

You would be reduced to a meaty pulp mixed with shards of plastic and spread over the roadway. This would be difficult to clean up thoroughly so some of your remains would bake into the road where it would remain for many years.

Re:Jetson's Space Car? (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100794)

You would be reduced to a meaty pulp mixed with shards of plastic and spread over the roadway. This would be difficult to clean up thoroughly so some of your remains would bake into the road where it would remain for many years.

So a de facto public memorial? You may have just revolutionized my political consulting practice!!!

In lieu of a check would you consider a stretch of highway somewhere in the Mojave? As an aside, are you available to NPC for my gaming group?

Re:Jetson's Space Car? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100722)

Since it's a prototype, I suspect it really doesn't matter all that much.

They used a prototyping machine (a 3D printer) to make... wait for it... the suspense is hard, I know... a prototype!

Once this hits production, using prototyping tools would be needlessly costly and inefficient, and the resulting prototype wouldn't be nearly as durable as the usual materials used today (fiberglass, high-impact ABS, etc)

3D Printers (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100498)

Maybe they have some nice new tech, but the 3D printers I have seen produce stuff that is not well finished. The resolution just is not near perfect, you can see and feel little bumps and ridges.

And how have they scaled it up? You only do this stuff for prototype, not production due to cost.

However, you can make "impossible" shapes. That can be pretty cool.

Re:3D Printers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100568)

The material can be finished (i.e. sanded and polished) to remove the bumps and ridges.

You are correct that this technology is normally used for prototypes - unless your "production" numbers are very low.

* disclosure - I _used_ to work at Stratasys *

Re:3D Printers (2, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100762)

You only do this stuff for prototype, not production due to cost.

Umm, yeah, that's exactly what the article said they did. Built the prototype. Summary of the summary: "Prototype built using only prototyping machine." Other than the sanding and painting, of course.

Nothing is said in the article about the actual production car if and when it ever gets past the prototype stage.

I'm 100% certain they aren't going to be stupid enough to go to production using a prototyping machine. You're absolutely correct, though cost is not the only factor (speed would be one, and durability of materials would be another).

Re:3D Printers (2, Informative)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100904)

Another attractive feature of additive manufacturing(3d printing refers to a specific additive manufacturing process) is that it's more efficient to additively manufacture exceptionally strong materials like TiAl6V4 and than it is to machine them. As exceptionally strong materials tend to be hard to machine, because they're exceptionally strong! In addition, making "impossible" shapes might be advantageous. Hollow impossible to make cellular truss structures can have around twice the specific strength and specific stiffness of bulk material. Also additive manufacturing can be used for production, in fact the new joint strike fighter could have additively manufactured parts in it. In addition this is being done because it's cheaper(as in ~$10 million cheaper) to make them this way. Though, if you want a nice shiny surface finish you'll need to do post-processing....

Re:3D Printers (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101316)

Isn't 3d printing just a CNC machine? These are not new. Program in what you want to create. The program is loaded into the milling machine. After a while the milling machine finishes what was programmed in. Why the new term?

why does the picture in the article look like (5, Insightful)

pezpunk (205653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100510)

why does the picture in the article look like a still from a low rez video of a photograph of a badly-photoshopped computer rendering?

Re:why does the picture in the article look like (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100758)

Follow the click trail, eventually you get here:
http://www.fastcompany.com/1698943/the-urbee-hybrid-the-first-car-to-have-its-body-3-d-printed

Second image down.

Re:why does the picture in the article look like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34101022)

Ah, a picture that is merely badly-photographed.

Re:why does the picture in the article look like (1)

Rigrig (922033) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101172)

Article with better picture [fastcompany.com] (the second picture in there only looks like a still from a low rez video of a photograph)

Misdirected efforts (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100524)

With all this green technology promised to us, I wonder if there is consumer demand. Look at the 1980s: after the government regulations that gave us crappy front wheel drive cars, consumers switched to large gas-guzzling SUVs (I wonder if fuel efficiency would have stayed better if we still had the large RWD sedan layout, with our current engine improvements).

The truth is, no-one wants a slow, cramped and wimpy go-kart (except for some hippies). People want a practical and fun car. If you force these shopping carts on us, we will just start buying more light trucks (eww).

Re:Misdirected efforts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100604)

lol, Americans

mod parent insightful! (1, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100656)

mod parent insightful! It's true

Re:Misdirected efforts (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100660)

Trollish, but true. Around here compact cars are the norm and SUVs are quite rare.

Re:Misdirected efforts (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100760)

Trollish, but true. Around here compact cars are the norm and SUVs are quite rare.

I live in Minnesota. We have an extremely harsh climate. As such, the intelligent among us typically have at least one 4x4, if not just to deal with the snow. Living here has given me a huge appreciation of 4x4 vehicles, and particularly ones that weigh 4000lbs+. It's great to be able to get around in 2' of snow without having to shovel, de-ice, and wait for the government to plow the roads. It's also great to, you know, stay on the road when I need to.

Compact cars might have their place, but holy fuck, Minnesota is not that place. IMHO it's jackass treehuggers and pro-green assholes that end up causing the majority of crashes here. Most being caused by people driving compact cars that do not have 4x4 nor enough weight to maintain control, thus leading to many of our roadway crashes and delays.

Two years ago I saw a Smartcar on the highway in mid-January... Shit like that leads me to believe that liberalism actually is a mental disorder.

Re:Misdirected efforts (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34101274)

You know what? In other parts of the world we manage to cope with snow and cold weather and other such conditions without resorting to stupid big trucks. Maybe it's just your (in)ability to drive safely that is the issue.

Re:Misdirected efforts (1)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100634)

The truth is, no-one wants a slow, cramped and wimpy go-kart (except for some hippies). People want a practical and fun car. If you force these shopping carts on us, we will just start buying more light trucks (eww).

I want a car that gets me from point A to point B by maintaining a steady 5mph over the speed limit in the cheapest and most economical manner possible. I'm also a 6' man that doesn't want to mash my head against the roof of the car.

I have no issue with the crop of crappy front wheel drive cars on the market today. I have managed to find vehicles that aren't cramped dungeons with room for my family all while being crappy front wheel drive cars without even being entirely boring.

But thanks for telling me what I want.

Re:Misdirected efforts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100712)

I fully appreciate your opinion, and admire your practicality. However, as the past two decades have shown us, there is a large segment of the car-buying public that does not share your opinion.

Re:Misdirected efforts (2, Informative)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100744)

Please stop blaming all problems of your aoutomotive industries to 30 year old regulation. Other manufacturers are able to build energy efficient front wheel drive cars with a pretty good performance. If yours don't, blame their lack of innovation.

Oh, and light trucks are probably large and not whimpy, but definately not fast. Which implies "not fun".

Re:Misdirected efforts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100796)

The truth is, no-one wants a slow, cramped and wimpy go-kart (except for some hippies

True. The only way to get people to drive more efficient cars is to simply outlaw the manufacture or importing of all cars that fail to comply, and after a few (maybe 5 or 10) years outlaw the resale of any used vehicles made before that time as well. Yeah, the automotive industry would tank for a few years, and it'd probably kill off some manufacturers, but it'd recover.

Re:Misdirected efforts (4, Informative)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101138)

I dunno, I look out in the parking lot of my employer and I see a mixture of vehicles, but the majority of vehicles are what you label "crappy front wheel drive cars". I've been driving a "crappy front wheel drive car" for a number of years now, and it's eliminated the need for 4WD on my crappy front wheel drive cars, because rear-wheel drive blows hot steaming monkey chunks in any kind of snow or slippery conditions without special tires, but I can do quite nicely using stock 4-season radial tires on my crappy front wheel drive car.

Meanwhile, most of the vehicles I see stuck in snowbanks are large RWD sedans and powerful 4WD SUVs, even though the majority of cars on the road are crappy front wheel drive cars. Why is that, I wonder?

Look, I drove rear-wheel drive cars for a long time, and resisted the switch to front-wheel-drive for years. But as soon as I got into one, I understood why it made sense. I had to re-learn how to handle slippery conditions, but a couple of hours in an abandoned snowy parking lot sorted that issue out, and I was good to go. All of my rear-wheel-drive cars have been garbage in the snow, and/or have been 4WD or AWD capable. I haven't run into any circumstances where front-wheel-drive can't perform acceptably unless the snow is high enough that my car high-centers on it, and at that point all bets are off anyway and I need the ground clearance of my truck.

I want a practical and fun car. I own a pickup truck, but that's only because I need one for plowing and homestead maintenance tasks, and for cases when the snow is too deep for any car but I still have to get to work. My practical and fun car is a crappy front wheel drive car, for very practical and fun values of "crappy".

To each his own, but the majority of people I know have chosen "slow, cramped and wimpy go-carts", also known as "5-passenger, 4-cylinder, front-wheel-drive sedans capable of 35+ MPG" for their daily driving. These aren't just hippies, or at least the guys with the Limbaugh mugs on their desks might be offended if you called them that. Be my guest, but just understand that it might get violent.

It's all about the Benjamins. If I can get to work in my current 40MPG car that performs well in the snow, why would I choose a heavy, lumbering, horrible-in-the-snow beast that only gets 20MPG? I drive 16 miles each way to work, every day. That's 160 miles a week. I can do that on about 4 gallons of fuel in my current car, including my three carpoolers, or I can do it on 8 gallons of fuel a week. Hey, at almost $3 a gallon, that's nearly twelve bucks a week I'm saving in fuel using my crappy little front wheel drive car, not to mention the fact that my car was $20,000 and my tires are $75 a pop and my maintenance is very cheap, so I'm saving shitloads more money than just fuel. Sure, my engine (Diesel) only produces 90 HP. Who cares? There's plenty of power to merge on the highway, passing is no problem (drop a gear, spin up the hamsters, and go), and I only stop by the fuel station about once a month.

Putting the drive up front makes sense for daily driving. There are cars available with modern semi-efficient engines and rear-wheel-drive systems, the reason people have by and large converted to crappy front-drive is because it's cheaper to manufacture, more efficient, and for any sort of bad weather pretty much eliminates the need for expensive and complex AWD/4WD systems.

So (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100548)

How much do the printer cartridges cost (and how many would it take to print a car)??

Re:So (1)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100658)

Presumably, the printers will be sold at a discount which the manufacturers will make up for with the "ink", so expect the cartridge to be worth around 10x its weight in gold. The ink required to build a car will be about $1 million, if you print in black & white.
</sarcasm>

Open source objects here we come! (1)

dredwolff (978347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100554)

I'd love to see 3D printers become more common and affordable, and see open source move to physical objects (like an open-source car!)

Impractical for anyone who has a kid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100572)

[nt]

Safe? (2, Insightful)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100638)

FTFA

The two-passenger hybrid aims to be fuel efficient, easy to repair, safe to drive and inexpensive to own.

Nothing about that picture, from the low driver orientation to the tin-can size, exudes safety.

Even the picture from their homepage [urbee.net] looks horrible.

You're missing the point. (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100766)

Every time I read one of these negative kinds of responses to these new, super-small, super-efficient vehicle alternatives about how unsafe they are going to be, I can't help but think that the poster is missing the point.

Yes, compared to vehicles commonly available today, these will probably be structurally inferior.

But these vehicles are for the future. In the future, probably the near future, many people are going to be choosing between going to work on foot or a bicycle, because they won't be able to afford to drive any of the vehicles commonly available today.

Compared to going on foot or a bicycle, these kinds of cars are just fine.

Re:You're missing the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34101090)

Cars look like they do for a reason. A box on four wheels, space for five people and a bunch of bags.

Every now and then someone showcases a "new" vehicle, usually meaning something straight from their SciFi fantasies.

You never see them around though. For a reason.

If you want to travel cheap, uncomfortable and dangerous, a motorbike is probably a better choice than a three-wheeled plastic frog.

Re:Safe? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101156)

The home page for that project looks horrific. It looks like something dragged from the ass of a design student ten minutes before submission time. "oh shit oh shit I forgot to do my assignment last night - okay I'll compose myself here and fire up AutoCAD software - ok bezier curve, bezier curve, change texture, extrude, add wheels, submit, phew that was close, oh fuck I only added 3 wheels! Oh shit oh shit oh shit" I think they need to get themselves some better concept drawings.

Re:Safe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34101160)

FTFA

The two-passenger hybrid aims to be fuel efficient, easy to repair, safe to drive and inexpensive to own.

Nothing about that picture, from the low driver orientation to the tin-can size, exudes safety.

Even the picture from their homepage [urbee.net] looks horrible.

A pair of bumper cars do not appear very safe by your criteria, but when was the last time you heard of any serious injury as a result of two of them colliding?

As for the story, a Car != a car Body.

Re:Safe? (2, Insightful)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101276)

Strangely, some people judge safety on actual collision tests instead of the size of a car. e.g. The Smart ForTwo is one of the smallest cars available, yet is also one of the safest.

I want one of those printers (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100644)

I want one of those printers. I hear that I can order one from Yemen, but for some reason I'll have to pick it up at the local Synagogue.

3D, eh? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100672)

So it's a 3D printer? Can it print a Klein bottle? If not, I'm not buying one.

Re:3D, eh? (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100702)

No. For that you would need a 4D printer.

Re:3D, eh? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100868)

Rubbish, if you can blow it from glass [wikipedia.org] you can print it.

Re:3D, eh? (2, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100996)

Those aren't real klein bottles, they are just the closest approximation that we can make. A real klein bottle doesn't pass through itself, it passes around its own exterior though a fourth dimension.

Re:3D, eh? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101174)

Yeah, it'll print whatever you can draw.

Go on, draw a Klein bottle. And before you point me to a Wikimedia image, no. That's a 2D render of a 3D approximation of the 4D shape.

Is the government going to ban these printers? (3, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100686)

As a threat to interstate commerce? Kinda like telling the farmers they can't grow their own animal feed? If you think that self publishing artists are a threat to the industry, wait until you have everybody self replicating everything they need.

They could actually confirm the Golf dimple (2, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100706)

For those of you that don't know, Mythbusters did an episode not that long ago that confirmed that placing dimples in a car body will increase fuel effecieincy, just as it increases distance for a golfball. Here is an article that discusses it further. [autoblog.com] I always thought the car companies are morons for not following up on this idea. What, they think it looks ugly? At least build a test car with a dimpled sheetmetal body instead of using mythbuster's clay test.

Now, some enterprising person could build a car body from scratch and truly verify if Adam and Jaime got it right.

Re:They could actually confirm the Golf dimple (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100738)

...or they could park their car on a driving range. Sounds much cheaper.

Re:They could actually confirm the Golf dimple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100958)

Or a downtown parking garage, those work too.

Re:They could actually confirm the Golf dimple (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100980)

They almost certainly have followed it up already. There are any number of things that could be done that would significantly increase fuel economy of virtually any car (just changing various settings in the computer is the easiest). The problem is, no one would buy such a car - you can have increased fuel economy by fiddling with the computer, but it's generally at the cost of reduced acceleration. In this case, better fuel economy, but ugly car = nobody will buy it. There's almost certainly other issues you would run into after spending a while working on it, off the top of my head - the dimples on horizontal surfaces would tend to accumulate dirt deposited by rain if the car was sitting outside when it rained. Probably harder to clean. Probably makes some kind of streaking. Likely some issues with the paint over time. The car would have to be bigger (e.g. if the dimples are 1/2" deep, your car just got 1" bigger in all directions, with no corresponding increase in interior room). But, the look is probably still the main thing. Most likely they did a marketing study and found very few people would want to buy it.

Re:They could actually confirm the Golf dimple (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101086)

For those of you that don't know, Mythbusters did an episode not that long ago that confirmed that placing dimples in a car body will increase fuel effecieincy, just as it increases distance for a golfball.

Maybe they're afraid that if they get the dimples wrong the car will always slice to the left?

Re:They could actually confirm the Golf dimple (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101312)

Yes, car companies are morons because they don't make their cars look like golf balls. Right.

How does it really look like? (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100730)

OK, so they're printing these bodies, right? Hence, they could have had at their disposal a vast array of CAD software, right? Hence, they could have easily come up with a half good design, right?

But they clearly didn't. Why?

If I were half as smart as these people seem to be, I'd present more and better pictures of the result and I would attempt to come up with something pleasing to the eye. There seem to be one or two images of this car on the Internet that indicate they are very insecure about the aesthetics. My take is it is a tricycle and that it looks like shit. I also seriously doubt if ever a printer will outproduce a mould.

This technology will however be great for prototyping car bodies. Maybe, some day, even Japanese, Korean and Chinese cars will be designed to look half nice instead of bloody awful.

Re:How does it really look like? (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100834)

There's no accounting for taste, including yours.

3D printing replaced the Clay sculpting process (1)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100748)

It will be interesting to see what unions have to say about this innovation. Clay body knockers are union members and this would effectively eliminate many their jobs.

Re:3D printing replaced the Clay sculpting process (1)

jgc7 (910200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101214)

The clay is primarily cut by a big 5-axis CNC machine. My guess is the printed plastic takes more sanding and smoothing, thus would require more union labor. Clay also has the advantage that is is easy add and remove, which is the whole point of using clay in the first place.

A little help here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100828)

A few weeks ago I had my 3D printer make another 3D printer that was fully functioning. To prove it I had it make another 3D printer, and it worked. I thought that was soooo awesome! All of my friends were pretty impressed, too. The odd thing was that third printer never seemed to work the same way, it never seemed to really stop working. Later that week a guy at the office "borrowed" the dang thing. It took me several days to get it back, and later I realized it wasn't event the same one. This one was somehow able to make another 3D printer using various materials lying around my office. It actually created another 3D printer using a desk lamp and part of laptop, and a second 3D printer from part of my desk. I didn't want anyone to see the damage so I kept the door closed after that. Then last Monday I knew there was real trouble when I realized there were 3D printers in the neighboring offices and a large hole in the exterior wall. On Friday our company then sent out a warning that vandals have destroyed several vehicles in the motor pool, but I knew what was going on. I’m at a loss. How do I stop this thing? I don’t even know how far it’s spread.

Car Torrent Link Please? (1)

SlothDead (1251206) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100852)

I'm looking forward to the time when thepiratebay will have the latest sports car for download.

On a serious note, 3D printing could kill the physical product industry. Will there be DRM on car blueprints? Hm.

Cool, No more parking... (1)

ccheck (1835632) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100858)

...you just crumble your ride to dust on arrival.

Could be costly (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101014)

Consider the price of toner, wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a conventionally assembled car?

Oh yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34101136)

Mix it with this http://tiny.cc/3kilo and let the apocalypse begin...

How about some pictures of it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34101184)

All there are are 2 front view horrible pictures. I can barely tell what I'm looking at.

So (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101298)

When can I buy it??
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