Here’s why Divergent Blade, the first-ever 3D-printed hypercar, is awesome
The application of 3D printing in cars and motorcycles has come a long way. And the best example is the Czinger company which presents the next evolution of car manufacturing with its line of cool cars. Their first production car is the Czinger 21C which develops 1,250 hp and weighs only 2,760 pounds.
By maintaining the impressive power-to-weight ratio of this supercar aside, the manufacturing technique used to create nearly all of its components is drool-worthy. Even their unique integrated wheel hub design is worthy of an art installation! Their portfolio has recently expanded to include the badder Czinger 21C V Max and the drool-worthy Czinger Hyper GT.
But many ignore the humble origin story of these cool cars. It all started with the Divergent Blade, billed as the first functional 3D-printed car. While this was a design and technology showcase for young company Divergent 3D, it contained some serious numbers and cutting-edge tech features.
In a world where 3D printing with plastics was slowly gaining attention, the cool dudes at Divergent 3D went ahead and printed organic looking metal parts for the Blade supercar. In fact, the Czinger 21C is the evolved version of the Blade. The connection between these two is very obvious design-wise; and of course, the massive use of 3D printing everywhere!
Divergent Blade is the cool father of the Czinger 21C, 21C VMAX and Hyper GT that doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves.
The Diverging Blade showed off a bold new way to make cars
The electric revolution has actually gained momentum very recently, with various countries passing strict new laws and even banning gasoline-powered vehicles. But in 2015, the desire for electrification was only germinating. And it was mainly focused on bringing in electric vehicles and reducing tailpipe emissions.
But there was one company that thought beyond and far ahead of the others. Divergent 3D knew that it wasn’t just exhaust emissions that needed to be reduced, and that there had to be a way to reduce the overall carbon and financial footprint, starting with the manufacturing process. And that’s where Divergent’s 3D printing capabilities come in.
Imagine eliminating long vehicle production lines, as well as reducing the cost of development to a fraction of what it really was. Automakers spend millions on development and testing. With Divergent’s software features, almost anything can be done on computers. And the best part, when things are perfected in the virtual world, the real deal can be printed using their 3D printing technology.
The Blade supercar was a living specimen of what Divergent wanted to accomplish in 5 years, across the industry. Literally every component was 3D printed, including the fancy metal parts. And the coolest part was that Divergent had optimization software that would take into account all physical conditions and loads and deliver the most efficient design for a particular component. It was not only cool in 2015, but futuristic and almost unreal!
The blade draws its performance from a Lancer Evo X
The divergent blade contained a 2.4-liter four-cylinder derived from Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. This mid-engined 3D printed supercar had a mid-engined configuration. The engine was extensively tuned by the American tuning house AMS and developed 720 hp at the flywheel. Power was sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed Hewland sequential gearbox.
Don’t let the humble specs fool you as the Divergent Blade did 0-60 mph in 2.2 seconds. All credit goes to its incredibly lightweight nature as the blade weighed less than 1,400 pounds! This gave it a shocking power-to-weight ratio of 1,143 million hp per ton!
The divergent blade had an organic and “green” design
The beauty of Divergent Blade is truly on edge! This supercar was packed in a chassis that weighed just 102 pounds. The chassis was made from 3D printed aluminum and carbon fiber reinforcements. Divergent calls its 3D-printed structural joints NODES, and it’s been used at every joint on this supercar. After the chassis was completed, the remaining structure was created using an in-house built computer algorithm.
Using this algorithm has also helped Divergent reduce the use of unwanted materials and thus reduce pollution and manufacturing costs. As for the exterior design, aerodynamics was important and the design aimed to provide the lowest drag coefficient possible. The body panels were also conceptualized and designed on the computer. And the design may look very familiar to you, as the Czinger 21C also flaunts the same basic layout.
The Diverging Blade’s interior was a driver’s paradise
Divergent wanted the Blade to be as engaging to drive as possible. And so, the design of the central cockpit which is similar to that which we see on fighter planes. It came with a single gullwing door that opened on the right side to a two-seat tandem interior.
The cabin seemed surprisingly spacious for a car with such a compact layout. The whole point of making it a jet-style seating arrangement was to allow the driver to completely indulge in the art of driving. Kudos to Divergent for trying to keep the thrill of the ride alive.
Making 3D Printing the Next Big Thing Among Automakers
Divergente 3D’s mission is to “dematerialize and democratize” manufacturing techniques in the automotive industry. The current layout is old fashioned and requires a lot of monetary and material investment before a car manufacturer even starts making a car.
Divergent’s sophisticated yet green car manufacturing methods will help automakers dramatically reduce their environmental and financial impact! The Divergent Blade, for example, was built using just 1/50th the factory capital cost of a conventional supercar and 1/3 the cost of an electric car in 2015!
Sources: Divergent 3D, Jay Leno’s garage via YouTube