I'm not sure how this flew under our radar, but at this year's Detroit Auto Show, back in January, the Department of Energy showed off an electric vehicle they'd 3D-printed out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. It was inspired by the iconic Shelby Cobra, but it most definitely wasn't a replica.
The folks at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory put it all together, to show off their Big Area Additive Manufacturing technology that could allow for rapid prototyping to fully move out of the clay-model era. The spokesperson for ORNL claims that their improvements on 3D printing with these materials substantially reduce energy use, and allow for energy-absorbing structures to be printed—technologies they think could prove revolutionary to the transportation sector.
Sure, perhaps. But here's an overview of how the Department of Energy built it:
And here's a more involved time-lapse showing the entire printing process.
And yes, that's President Obama at Oak Ridge up top, checking out the "Shelby" and mugging with lab personnel. .