Art & Sculpture

3D printed liquid metal Ford Torino up for auction

Ioan Florea, an artist from Detroit, is auctioning his 3D printed metal Ford Torino. 3D Printing Industry got in contact with the artist to ask about the work.

The sculpture was created in 2013 as an art piece in a collaboration with German 3D printer manufacturers, VoxelJet Ag. The auction will be taking place as part of Barrett-Jackson’s event in Scottsdale, Arizona on Wednesday 18th January. The sale will be conducted by U.S classic car auctioneers who describe themselves as organizers of ‘The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions‘.

Florea is well-known for his 3D printed art which often uses liquid metal to create intricate and unusual designs. The auction of the artist’s Ford Torino will be broadcast live on Velocity and Discovery. The car is not a running vehicle unlike Divergent’s 3D printed Blade supercar which was showcased at CES,. However, the unique artwork is expected to fetch a high price.

Close-up of the intricate metal design on Florea's Ford Torino. Photo via Floreaart.
Close-up of the intricate metal design on Florea’s Ford Torino. Photo via Floreaart.

3D printed cars

The Ford Torino piece highlights the creative possibilities that 3D printing allows. However more recently, 3D printing in the automotive industry has been used to advance the manufacturing process. The Blade demonstrates this functional use of 3D printing which enables a more sustainable manufacturing process, resulting in a lightweight supercar with a lower environmental footprint.

Front view of the Ford Torino. Photo via Floreaart.
Front view of the Ford Torino. Photo via Floreaart.

3D printing process

Florea explains that he, “used multiple 3D printers.” A binder jet VX4000 Voxeljet 3D printer made the complex molds used to pour the liquid metal and produce the impressive Ford Torino design. The artist also used a Lulzbot TAZ4 in order to print the shapes. Now, Florea is announcing the introduction of his own industrial 3D printer specifically for use to create art objects. The large scale, 8x4x4 ft, printer is a FDM machine capable of high speed prints.

Ioan Florea's new industrial printer in action. Photo via Ioan Florea.
Ioan Florea’s new industrial printer in action. Photo via Ioan Florea.
Rear-view of the 1971 vehicle. Photo via Floreaart.
Rear-view of the 1971 vehicle. Photo via Floreaart.

Incorporating the old with the new

Ioan Florea talks about how the car fits into the history of industrial manufacturing. When the vehicle was originally manufactured in 1971, it was on an assembly line. Famously this process was created by Henry Ford and is associated with the Second Industrial Revolution, ushering in an era of mass production.

Florea has cleverly juxtaposed 3D printing, with its promise of mass customization, with this traditional technique. 3D printing is occasionally referred to as part of ‘The Third Industrial Revolution‘ and often invoked in discussion of Industry 4.0. The liquid metal car can be seen as a marrying of the old and the new.

Nominate Florea’s design in the 1st Annual 3D Printing Industry Awards. 

Featured image of Florea’s Torino at IMTS. Photo via Ioan Florea.