Featured Project: David Bowie-Inspired Car a Highlight of European Car Show

Yet another example of how truly game-changing 3D printing can be in terms of delivering a memorable image.

Israel-based 3D printer company Massivit Printing Technologies, in partnership with Paris-based large-format print house Marie 3D, have produced what they say is the world’s first 3D-printed, full-scale concept car.

Designed by renowned automobile designer Takumi Yamamoto, the car was created as a tribute from Yamamoto to one of his heroes: the late rock-n-roll musician David Bowie. It was unveiled at the Festival Automobile International show in Paris at the beginning of February.

Yamamoto, designer of the world-famous GT by French auto manufacturer Citroen and a former leading designer at the PSA Peugeot Advanced Design Studio, says he is a lifelong David Bowie fan and the music and the look of the legendary artist inspired him to create something special. According to Massivit’s announcement, Yamamoto teamed up with Cyrille Ancely, an expert industrial designer and 3D modeler and together, they created “The db Project: A collaboration between artists.”

The pair never got to meet and share their idea with Bowie before he died on Jan. 10, 2016. But the duo kept moving forward with their idea, Massivit says, and brought onboard Alexandre Larnac, an expert in computer-generated imagery (CGI). The result was a design that “embodies Bowie’s key personal and physical traits. The design incorporates a core body that represents and ‘protects’ the inner Bowie while the intricate, outer body is designed with different looks from various perspectives in homage to the singer’s chameleon-like personality. Crystals were chosen to reflect the purity of Bowie’s lyrical and musical message.”

“It is the first time in our 34-year history that we are exhibiting a full-scale car that has been entirely produced with 3D printing,” says Rémi Depoix, president of the Festival Automobile International. “Yamamoto’s concept car demonstrates immense creativity. We were keen to support this project and present the car almost as a piece of art, very much like a sculpture. I am very impressed with this new technology. It opens up new opportunities in terms of creativity and design for the automotive industry.”

According to Massivit, when it came time to design the car, “Paris-based Marie 3D identified that 3D printing was the only feasible production method for implementing the concept car due to its capability to produce complex and creative geometry forms. Traditional manufacturing methods, including CNC routing, would have proven limited in terms of realizing Yamamoto’s vision. Furthermore, 3D printing turned out to be more cost-effective, having a faster production speed and less waste production.”

The car was printed on Marie 3D’s Massivit 1800 large-format 3D printer.

It was Larnac, using his CGI skills, that turned the concept car’s screen-based 3D model into realistic renderings and animations giving the impression that the car was actually driving on the road “whilst keeping the artistic inspiration of David Bowie’s spirit.” The life-size car itself was no doubt a big hit at the festival.

To watch a short video about the project click here.

tony kindelspire oct21

Tony Kindelspire

View all articles by Tony Kindelspire  

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