Addendum Auto’s 3D Printed Car Parts
Landon Crist grew up around cars, with his family’s auto repair shop based 50 feet behind their Indiana home. Crist describes his childhood experiences beautifully: “I would sit on an old hood, banging dents in it with a hammer for hours. I remember how amazed I was to see a mangled car come into the shop and a perfect looking one leave. A passion for cars has always been in my blood but I haven’t indulged in the opportunity to work with cars until now.” So, how’s he indulging in auto work now?
Crist has a plan to launch an autoparts marketplace. By raising $250k onIndiegogo, the recent graduate of Appalachian State University hopes to establish a modern method for quick, affordable auto repair through the use of 3D printing. He explains:
I envision a day when your car is wrecked, and the crash data is sent to a body shop and they already have the parts printed before the car arrives. No more waiting for weeks to get your car back because the parts haven’t shipped yet. Insurance companies will love this idea as well. Think of the money they will save by the lower cost of fixing cars.
Because current patent laws cover auto parts for 14 years, Crist and his company, Addendum Auto, will work to build a library of car components for vehicles 14 years old or older. Customers will be able to download the CAD data for a given part and print them in their own home or, without access to a 3D printer, print them through Crist’s own manufacturing services, which will include both metal and plastic 3D printing. This, as he stated, will save customers time and money in procuring parts truly tailored to their own vehicles.
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Crist’s Indiegogo started about five days ago, but he’s only raised $5, at the time of this writing. Most successful crowdfunding campaigns showcase a substantial amount of work already put into the project being funded, prototypes for hardware and a detailed business plan. In the case of the Addendum Auto marketplace, there isn’t too much to show investors, quite yet. Those who believe in a 3D printing marketplace for auto parts would be more likely to contribute to a campaign with schematics for a website, actual examples of 3D printed autoparts and CAD designs, and itemized costs.
Still the concept is definitely an important and, possibly, necessary one as the 3D printing industry evolves. Since the beginning of the technology’s more recent media attention (recall Jay Leno’s classic car parts), the idea for a 3D printed auto part marketplace has been waiting to be cultivated. Crist’s campaign promises a video soon and, hopefully, the video will be accompanied by more specific details and images parts 3D printed by Crist. Once the Indiegogo fills out more, though, my guess is that it will gain a bit more traction.