The folks at 1016 Industries want to develop 3d-printed automotive body components in large enough amounts to work for scaled manufacturing processes. To test things out, they created this wild body kit for a McLaren 720S. The styling definitely isn't going to fit everyone's personal taste, but the tech behind it is intriguing.
The new front fascia has a huge front splitter with a narrow inlet in the centre. The openings in the corners are far larger than on a normal 720S. While closed here, it looks like the portion in the centre should be open. There are tall winglets on each side that seem to double as canards. The full headlights are gone from this car, but the openings for them appear bigger than stock.
The rear quarter panels get new inlets, including an opening near the rear of the side sills. A fixed wing is on the rear deck.
The exposed wiring for the mirrors, lack of paint, and large panel gaps show that this body kit is more of a proof of concept for 3d printing the components, rather than something that's production-ready. So far, the company's testing finds that the material can take the punishment of use on the road without any failures.
"Incorporating 3D printing into our production processes has been a steep learning curve," said 1016 Industries CEO Peter Northrop. "But we were encouraged by how the 720S prototype performed. While the material hasn’t proven yet that it would be the right fit for a long-term prototype, our testing has proven that a car can use 3D printed technologies and be drivable. As to what extent, that is what 1016 Industries is working to find out now."
1016 Industries believes that it can have a 3d-printed complete body kit ready to debut in early 2021. The finished product should be fascinating to see.