Koenigsegg 3D-Printing for Production Vehicles

Koenigsegg with Printed Parts

We’re not surprised to see a car manufacturer using 3D-printing technology, but we think this may be the first time we’ve heard of 3D-prints going into production vehicles. You’ve likely heard of Christian von Koenigsegg’s cars if you’re a fan of BBC’s Top Gear, where the hypercar screams its way into the leading lap times.

Now it seems the Swedish car manufacturer has integrated 3D printing and scanning into the design process. Christian himself explains the benefits of both for iterative design: they roughed out a chair, adjusting it as they went until it was about the right shape and was comfortable. They then used a laser scanner to bring it into a CAD file, which significantly accelerated the production process. He’s also got some examples of brake pedals printed from ABS—they normally machine them out of aluminum—to test the fits and the feeling. They make adjustments as necessary to the prints, sometimes carving them up by hand, then break out the laser scanner again to capture any modifications, bring it back to CAD, and reprint the model.

Interestingly, they’ve been printing some bits and pieces for production cars out of ABS for a few years. Considering the low volume they are working with, it makes sense. Videos and more info after the jump.

The first video shows a Dimension 1200es—a $30k printer—toiling away in the background, presumably cranking out some of their ABS test pieces.  A second video describes another 3D-printed build, this time with metal, to construct a 2-phase turbocharger. The custom turbo has two chambers that twist around each other, with flexible walls that bend to optimize flow. Koenigsegg claims that they could have cast it with a lot of trial and error, but that 3D-printing the complex shapes was simply faster and easier. They’re printing the moving parts in place internally so they don’t have to assemble it. Even the threads to mount the turbo are printed, so a near-finished turbocharger rolls out of the printer ready to bolt on.

[Thanks Matt]


  1. Matthias_H says:
  2. Waterjet says:

    KoenigseggisseggggnignigsegigisegggnigseggniggseggCCX with the Top Gear win

  3. Waterjet says:

    “Even the threads to mount the turbo are printed, so a near-finished turbocharger rolls out of the printer ready to bolt on.”

    At what resolution. No 3d metal printer commercially available can print proper threads. The layer thickness is too high and the resolution and surface finish too poor. Sure they “thread on”. Sort of.

  4. There’s a whole series of videos from Koenigseggisseggggnignigsegigisegggnigseggniggsegg on the /Drive channel, a very interesting watch: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHa6PXrV-yIgnXSYFT07BouKhEhyFuWnf

  5. onebiozz says:

    fucking amazing set of cars … they posted a video not too long ago showing how they hand make the world’s only totally carbon fiber wheel hubs

  6. sa97 says:

    two of my favorite websites. DRIVE and Hackday

  7. Eric says:
  8. I supose you guys are not on par about what real high end metal sintering printers can do, right?

  9. onebiozz says:

    I just realized this guy looks like the mask in the movie drive http://unfilmde.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/drive3.jpg

  10. Matt Fluger says:

    The uses for 3D printers keep getting more innovative – and sometimes a little scary. It seems manufacturing will be a lot different in the next decade.

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