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Scale of the print
Hearing out crazy ideas is one of Honda’s basic principles, whether it is cars that can be parked with a tablet device or airbags for your smartphone, engineers are actively encouraged to voice their ideas, the wackier the better.
The belief is that great ideas come from the craziest ones, as Soichiro Honda once said, “If you’re basic idea is strong, developing a new technology isn’t that hard. Technology is simply the end product. The idea from which it springs is what really matters.”
Their crazy concept cars have become almost an anticipated yearly event like a new iPhone. Since 1994 they’ve released 15 concepts for automobiles with 14 of those coming in the last 14 years.
You may have seen a brilliant piece of 3D printing marketing in the last week or so from those creative geniuses over at Honda. In celebration of their "crazy ideas" they’ve released a 3D model archive of a selection of their concept cars, yours to mess around with or print.
So we, here at personalize palace, decided to use one of these models as a first print on the Formlabs Form 1 we currently have in our lab. We’ve gone with the latest concept car in the archive, the NSX Concept.
When you download a model from Honda 3D Design Archive you’re given a low-res and a high res version, this being a stereolithographic 3D printer using resin and a laser there really was only one option; High res.
Before we upload the model into the PreForm software there are steps we need to take with the printer as this is the first time we’ve had it out of the box. The instructions of set up are relatively straight forward; place the resin tank into the relevant slot and fill the resin to the resin line - though I read on the Formlabs community that you’re better under rather than overfilling so I gently poured just above the minimum line - that’s it loaded.
Importing the stl file into the PreForm software is as easy as drag and drop, if you’re considering buying a Form 1, download the software to try it out, it is more intuitive as any 3D printer software I've used. Once the model is in the software the Formlabs industrial designer Yoav Reches recommended using the orientation tool and then generating supports. Three clicks of a button and the model is ready to print.
Due to time constraints we scaled this model right down and stuck it on the fastest print setting - a layer thickness of 0.1mm. An hour and a half later and we had what looked like a Fox’s Glacier Mint shaped like a car resting on a bed of icicles.
The Form 1 comes with a comprehensive cleaning kit and you’ll need it as this isn’t just a matter of breaking off the supports in hope, this is a prosumer machine for designers who care about their prints. After soaking in a bath of alcohol for ten minutes, breaking off supports with a wire cutter, rinsing, sanding and soaking in alcohol for a further two minutes we were left with our NSX model.
Considering this is massively scaled down and printed on the lowest res setting the detail is quite astonishing. You can see the rear lights, the spokes of the alloys and even the contours of the bodywork. Considering we’ve only had FDM machines in the lab before this marks and astonishing step up in quality.