When it comes to 3D printable car models to assemble it does not get much better than Maurizio Casella’s work. His latest 3D printed ’57 Corvette, though, might just beat them all. “This ’57 Chevy Corvette is one of the most iconic design ever seen, and could not miss in my collection”, Maurizio said on Facebook. I modeled following blueprints for this first white and red version, and then printed it in white ABS by a Bnz 4070, red PLA on a Bad Devices BP2, silver metallic PLA on a WASP 2040. A second version light blue and white, with closed roof, is on the way.” I feel I “discovered” Maurizio “Mao” Casella, since we got in touch through Facebook when he was beginning to commercialize his 3D models. Judging by what he has produced so far, he might be one of the biggest talents out there at creating “consumer-ready” 3D printable models. He has shown it once again with three new creations straight out of “automotive mythology”: the Citroen 2CV, the original Mini Cooper, the Renault 5, the Wolkswagen Beetle, the “Hippy van”, and many more.
My guess is that a toy modeling enthusiast would want nothing more than to craft something from nothing, rather than from pre-manufactured parts. And that is why I think that build-it-yourself toy models of cars or planes might just be the most market-ready type of 3D printable, digital models. This idea came to me after seeing what designer Maurizio Casella has been able to do. This business might just be selling 3D printable modeling kits. Judging by the attention his works receives on the web, that business might just happen. Maurizio told me he is able to create the digital model for these kits in only a couple of weeks, starting from the original blueprints. The first kit that attracted my attention was a beautifully rendered – both digitally and physically – Ferrari. It is made up of fifteen different types of pieces, including: the chassis, rims and tires, engine block, exhaust system, and so on. I am fairly convinced that any experienced toy car modeler would welcome the challenge to go beyond simply assembling the parts to actually making each one of them from scratch. Furthermore the price for printing a digital model versus a pre-manufactured kit is quite different. Factoring in about five euro worth of filament (including the failed prints) and the 4,99 cost on the 3Dagogo.com model marketplace, it comes out to considerably less than buying a comparable, casted model. Maurizio has not been idle and his page on 3Dagogo has been filling up models such as this Shelby Cobra, to reflect the 3D printed Cobra displayed by President Obama during the launch of an advanced manufacturing lab in the US. Maurizio has been getting better and better over time. A few years back, when he started, we agreed that in order to have a real business model he would have to offer at least 100 different models. Little by little he is getting there. It may be slow and the road ahead may be long one, but these 3D printed cars can ride all the way to the finish.