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3D-printed Shelby Cobra

To mark the 50th anniversary of the celebrated Shelby Cobra roadster, six engineers from Local Motors set out to create a replica that would match the myth. They looked to the BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) 3D printer, which, as the name indicates, can produce very large volumes.

According to ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), the developer of this extraordinary printer, it took six weeks and six technicians to print the Shelby. Using the FDM (function deposition modelling) principle, the BAAM prints by depositing layers of plastic composite developed by the Techmer company. The composite of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and carbon fibres prints at the phenomenal speed of 18 kg/hr. The first step was to print the main chassis followed by the customary finishing (sanding, painting, engine, headlights, and electrical components). The 3D-printed Shelby is three times stronger than the original model and half its weight—at 680 kg, including 280 kg of 3D-printed parts.

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