Daihatsu and Stratasys combine for user-customized Copens

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The front right hand view of the "Effects skin" Daihatsu Copen. On this side we see the "moon effect" insert on the lower half of the front bumper(Credit: Stratasys)

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Japan's oldest carmaker, Daihatsu and American 3D printing company Stratasys have come together to let Daihatsu Copen owners design their own car panels and have them made to order. Utilizing the unique changeable panel system on the open sports car, special panels will accept costumer designed elements with new shapes and textures. This personalized driving experience was recently proven by Designers Kota Nezu and Junjie Sun on their "Effect Skins" project and Gizmag went along to the 2015 Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo to see the results.

In recent years, 3D printing technology has become a viable prototyping and specialist manufacturing process within the automotive industry. So the step towards making this process available to the wider general public is a logical progression. The Effects Skin customization process uses DDM (Direct Digital Manufacturing) and is designed to add an extra dimension to the wider DRESS-FOMATION project, in which Daihatsu gives car owners the ability to completely change all the outer panels of their Copen. Daihatsu says such a combination of new panels with 3D inserts of your own design creates a limitless style expression for your car.

The key part of the process is the FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), which uses a high UV stability ASA thermoplastic material that matches the color and look of the existing panels. For the Effect Skins project, the front and rear bumper inserts as well as the badge surrounds were offered in 12 design types and 10 color variations. When launched, hopefully early in 2016, this customization service could mean that no two Daihatsu Copen`s are the same – a truly "customer-ized" car.

Source : Stratasys

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