This is wild stuff... 500 to 1,000 times faster. This is getting very cool, yet part of me is scared!
"The team took six weeks to design, manufacture and assemble the Shelby, including 24 hours of print time. The new BAAM system, jointly developed by ORNL and Cincinnati Incorporated, can print components 500 to 1000 times faster than today’s industrial additive machines. ORNL researchers say the speed of next-generation additive manufacturing offers new opportunities for the automotive industry, especially in prototyping vehicles."
I'm interested in how thick they have to make the material to have something with practical strength.
I once took a scaled down model of a Cobra, scanned it with a cheap desktop scanner, and then modeled surfaces over the scan data. I love the shape of these cars. I'd love to drive one one day.
With 3D print, you can print mesh models from subdivision modelers where it's so much easier to make organic shapes, and the heroic effort involved in NURBS modeling isn't even an issue. We CAD guys look at shapes like this in envy (or at least I do) because I know how much effort I'd have to put into making something like that with surfacing features. With sub-d tools, its much easier.
The original article is very interesting. I wrote a blog on the original Strati car Local Motors made with the same Cincinnati/Oak Ridge Labs machine. http://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge-Blog/Cincinnati-Incorporated-Machine-3D-Pr...
Not 3D printing, but in the same rapid-prototyping vein, and equally as fascinating to me. Especially because the premise is so simple!