Road Ready 3D-Printed Car

Task: Create Windshield Frame and A-Pillars Using DDM

Objective: We need to produce the section of the body structure that mounts the windshield glass and represents the A-pillars for the LM 3D Swim. This needs to be done with DDM processes, minimal human intervention and it is essential that the solution be structural. It’s important to keep in mind the vehicle has a very complex form to match the glass and overall vehicle aesthetic.

Challenges to overcome:

1. The glass of the windshield needs to be mounted reliably with either mechanical clamps or an adhesive. The adhesive needs to be sealed from the elements to ensure longevity of the bond.

2. The overall form of the piece needs to be structural enough to provide support against wind force, the weight of people leaning and pulling on it, and even to provide some rollover support.

3. The A-pillar will be a main component in passing FMVSS 216 and FMVSS216a (though not required for a convertible, we do want to make it as safe as possible). During the testing of this standard, each side of the passenger compartment roof structure must resist up to a maximum applied force equal to 3.0 times the unloaded weight of the vehicle in kilograms and multiplied by 9.8.

4. The glass is a complex surface and the aesthetic portions need to match it. This means there are not many planer surfaces to act as a bottom layer for a print or to serve other functions in manufacturing.

5. Even though this can be multiple pieces, the general rule is that assembly time should be as minimal as possible.


We need your assistance with conceptual processes. It isn’t necessary to include the models and assets created; we simply need your best ideas on process approaches we could take to get this created. Please include the following:

o A general description of the process flow

o A short description of hurdles addressed

o Links to any supporting information

o Essential links or leads to any specialized materials or equipment for the solution

o Any diagrams that could assist in the understanding of the process solution

  • mechanical-engineering
  • mechanical-design

Will you help with this task?

9 people are working on this
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Solutions 4

Make A-pillars with conventional method, but fixed via metal, aluminum, DDM tubes-rods. Also can be mounted modules.


For this solution I am thinking about the Strati, not a four door saloon.

I'm thinking really out of the box here. The solution I propose is actually a combined solution for doors and windshield.

I don't know if you're familiar with an American kit car of the (awful) polyester 80s, named stirling?

This shell should evidently have to be printed on a soluble support. I don't know a lot about 3D printing though.

But you could gain a lot of rigidity.

Problems could be fixing the gas struts and the load exerted on the chassis due to the hinging system and struts. I think the top could weigh in considerably.

At the roll hoop it can be fixed two sotfop catches

In summer time it can be removed like a hardtop and the windshield can be replaced with an aero type screen. As Caterham style kit cars often come equipped with. They are fixed with dot fastners. Picture shows a Sylvia Stylus


Another thought.

As I have no clue about moment of resistance that could be achieved with any type of profiled 3D printed material. I asked the question over on the Chassis testing thread. But I imagine that you would need a lot of backing material (solid mass) to fix anything to it. Say a hardtop or soft top, you might as well think about a bended (preferred, cheap) or extruded aluminum box section. You can provide it with recesses, for soft top anti buffeting bars, run wiring through it, glue a rubber sealing to it to tightly fit a hard top.

With recycling in mind. The windshield could be produced with the A frame already glued. So it can be (dis) mounted as a whole.

I don't know if the Perspex windshield is an option for production? But I guess it isn't. You wont be able to get that curvature in a glass windshield. Hence it would need to be in 3 different parts. I added some pictures of my car. The rear windshield is in two parts. Upper and lower. Both are glued onto a steel box section. On the outside a bevel (spoiler) was screwed into the box section (from the inside), to cover the joint. The box section is really basic.

Sorry for the crappy pictures. If required I'll post better ones. Or sketch something up.


My idea is not a answer / proposal.
But I will ask you a question:
For linear elements is it not more convenient to use a (traditional) structure in tubes welded?
Or it build pipes with DDM (... but is it convenient)?