An absolute novelty could be admired on the Detroit Auto show there in January: the Shelby Cobra from the 3D is a printer. No, it’s not an attempt to produce replicas faster, rather the Oak Ridge National Laboratory wanted to demonstrate with this experiment, that energy-absorbing structures in the automotive industry can be produced in the future from the 3D printer. The Shelby Cobra has been chosen, because this vehicle is very well suited for a structural test.
It must be very light and stable built for high speeding. 20 percent of frame structure strengthened with carbon fibre. Also the entire outer shell of the Cobra is produced in the 3D printer and has been edited accordingly, so that a high-gloss finish was possible. The Shelby Cobra is roadworthy and should prove that here lies the future of automotive prototype construction. Where previously, clay models of the designer were essential, today complete functional prototypes can be built. Another advantage is in the much lower energy consumption, so the responsible project manager of Oak Ridge national laboratory. The energy required for the production of such 3d model, is far below the energy of a prototype in the conventional procedure.