From Prototype to Salesroom

3D Printed Car Parts: A Major Statement in Kia’s Newest Car

3D Printed Car Parts

Kia makes a big statement by using 3D printed car parts in the final design of their new, futuristic concept car, Telluride.

Kia is bridging the gap between printing for prototypes and final models in an unexpected addition to their newest car. The concept car below is called Telluride, and it’s is debuting this week at Detroit auto show. Why is it special?

It includes 3D printed parts in the final model.

Telluride's futuristic interior (Image: Kia)
Telluride’s futuristic interior (Image: Kia)

Rather than only using printing to develop better and faster prototypes, this car goes to the next level, and includes them in the final model. Kia opted to print the steering wheel, dash, and even door panels. The company didn’t explain the purpose of these 3D printed car parts and if can be bought as additionals extras. The result isn’t just a cool, futuristic look, but a great deal of opportunity. More importantly, Kia stands behind their decision to use 3D printing in a final product.

“Kia’s first use of 3D printed components add a distinct, modern design element.”

Printing is often used behind-the-scenes to make parts that consumers never get to see or use. It looks like that is about to change. While Local Motors is making waves with their printed cars, that is very much a small niche. Printing is also used, as we talked about here, to make parts that are otherwise hard or impossible to get a hold of. Kia, on the other hand, is a trusted, established, global brand. Their use of printing means a lot doors are being opened for 3D technologies in the automotive world.

Kia's 3D-Print-loving car (Image: Kia)
Kia’s 3D-Print-loving car (Image: Kia)

The Telluride is a three-row, seven-passenger, luxury SUV. Kia is marketing the is as a bold statement filled with advanced technology. It includes a plug-in-hybrid powertrain, and comes equipped with a system of sensors that track the rider’s vitals.

There has been, unfortunately, no explanation as to why the company decided to go with 3D printing. However, given the futuristic personality of the car, it seems to make complete sense. While all cars of the future might not be 3D printed, the automotive industry seems happy to integrate the technology in every way they can.