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  1. #1

    3D Printed Car Part Marketplace Seeking Funding Via Crowdfunding

    A man named Landon Crist has decided to turn to Indiegogo to try and fund his idea for a marketplace for 3D printed car parts. He is seeking $250,000 for start up capital for his proposed idea. The marketplace would cater to designers and car enthusiasts seeking custom designs, as well as discontinued parts. Landon will concentrate on vehicles which are at least 14 years old, which are no longer covered by patent laws. The full story can be read here: http://3dprint.com/6383/3d-print-auto-parts/

    Thus far the campaign has not performed well, but it is a solid idea that I hope Landon can figure out how to get it to work. Opinions?

  2. #2
    Engineer-in-Training
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    228
    $2,500 gets 0.25% of the business. $10,000 gets 0.5% of the business. So, quadruple the investment, but that only doubles the stake in the business.

    I didn't see anything in the IGG posting that talked about North Carolina's business investment crowdfunding laws. I haven't heard of any businesses that sold shares of itself business by crowdfunding. It's a very new thing, and I think everyone is skittish about being the first.

    Edit: The proposed NC JOBS act, which would enable this for North Carolina businesses, hasn't been passed yet. Proponents think it might pass this year.

    As such, I think this is premature, at least the top two tiers. I'd think that an accounting grad would be on top of that.
    Last edited by JRDM; 06-17-2014 at 10:52 PM.

  3. #3
    I needed medical attention after reading this piece- a Bandaid on my chin after my jaw dropped and hit the floor, and stitches for my sides which split from laughing so hard!

    So hype, much uninformed, very wrong. But the upside: While the fact that his funding has only reached $30 may show that fools and their money can still be parted, it also shows that there are not many being fooled by this ridiculous scam. If Mr. Crist has actually worked on cars, and has some level of college education, then one MUST assume that he’s just trying to ride the hype wave, and can’t possibly believe that there really is a marketplace for 3D printed car parts.

    What parts typically need replacing on old or damaged cars? Large sheet metal body panels… tires… brake calipers, rotors, and pads… rusted out power steering hydraulic hose assemblies… engine control computer modules… wiring harnesses… air bag assemblies with high pressure propellent cannisters and safety-critical bag assemblies… and the list of UN-printable parts goes on and on.

    Could one maybe 3D print an air vent register? Sure… now, everyone please raise their hand, if you’ve ever needed to replace an air vent… what, crickets?

    As an automotive design engineer, I have used the 3D printing capabilities at Ford Motor Company, and I can tell you, NO production part has ever been manufactured with this process! Many prototypes and test parts, but no production part. Why? Cost and performance. As has been pointed out elsewhere here many times, a prototype process like 3D printing cannot compare to the cost of making parts on dedicated high volume production tooling. And while I might test airflow through a plastic model of a cylinder head, the part would obviously never survive on a firing engine! And saftey—if a sheet metal body part plays a critical role in the crash safety performance of a vehicle, would you replace it with a similar looking panel made out of plastic squiggles?

    And what the heck is this about 14 year patent protection? Nonsense and misinformation, shame on you. Patents and design copyrights last much longer than this, so the copyist should beware! 14 years is merely the period in which auto makers are REQUIRED to provide service parts for their products. Makers are free to service parts for longer periods-- you can still buy many replacement parts for your 50 year old Mustang at a Ford dealer. But if you need a new turbocharger for your 1989 Saab 900, you may need to look to your local old parts specialist, because there ain’t no 3D printer that’s going to get you off the side of the road!

  4. #4
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    941
    I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's aiming to get an SLS metal printer to print metal parts...

    That said, his campaign is straight garbage. No business plan, to time frame no printer details, just a stock photo of a car and a wall of text that looked primarily like hype and resume.

    Granted, I only skimmed the text because ain't nobody got time for that.

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