See It! Secretary of Energy Takes 3-D Printed Car for Test Drive

The Department of Energy has taken 3-D printing to a new level by printing an entire sports car.

It took Oak Ridge National Laboratory just about six weeks to print the components of the car and put them all together. Along the way, the team also had to master a few challenges, including how to smoothly finish rough 3-D printed material and how to design the structure to be energy absorbing.

Lonnie Love of ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility said the goal was to push the envelope of 3-D printing and manufacturing.

“The reason I believe that DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office got behind this was they saw that we didn’t just want to repeat what had already been done — we want to push the technology forward,” Love said.

The team also documented the process on video from start to finish.

The car made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January where it stood among the best of traditionally manufactured cars.

The team also just released video of US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz taking the 3-D printed sports car out for a spin showing that the car is not just for display, but actually works.

Photo Credit: Screenshot