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Daihatsu: Pimp Your Ride with 3D Printed Effect Skins

Effect Skins

Automobile maker Daihatsu partners with Stratasys to offer customized, 3D printed Effect Skins for their new Copen convertible.

Japan’s oldest car manufacturer, Daihatsu, is launching 3D printed Effect Skins for their Copen car, designed and manufactured in collaboration with 3D printing company Stratasys.

The skins are a simple way to add some personal flair to the Copen Robe Roadster. Each Effect Skin can be ordered online, and is 3D printed and shipped within just two weeks.

“Using Stratasys 3D Printing technology to customize and supply parts to customers and to allow self-expression within a single car is, I believe, a first,” said Osamu Fujishita, Daihatsu General Manager. “What would have taken two to three months to develop can now be produced in two weeks.”

See a preview of the Effect Skins in the video below:

How were the Effect Skins Created?

The Effect Skins are essentially 3D printed overlays which are printed and affixed to the body panels of the Copen Robe.

The material used to print the skins in ASA thermoplastic, a material which has the benefit of being durable and resistant to sunlight, while also allowing for thin (but sturdy) walls. Later, it is planned that other materials will be offered as they gradually become more affordable for consumers.

Sun Junjie and Kota Nezu from Znug Design, Inc. are the pair responsible for these interesting designs. Altogether, they have created more 15 base patterns in 10 different colors.

Further customization is available by adjusting and tweaking the design before placing an order. That means a unique design for your Copen which can’t easily be copied. According to Nezu:

“What really interests me is making cars even better, more enjoyable products for their customers. That’s where I sense a lot of possibility—cars could become more open-source products where the customer or a third party can come in and help make the automobile industry more customizable.”

It all sounds very exciting, but if you want to get your hands on an Effect Skin, you’re going to have to wait a bit. With plans to fully commercialize in 2017, Daihatsu is currently only testing the Effect Skin project in select markets.

Until then, you could always have a go at designing your own panels?

(Source: Stratasys)

effect skins