Is the Blade Supercar as Super as the Unique Technology Used to Build It?

Using 3D-printed nodes, Divergent Microfactories connects carbon fiber tubes into a light strong chassis. But will it sell?

Divergent Microfactories (DM) is the latest in a long line of companies that are breaking out of the garage and making a scene as innovators look to change the way vehicles are designed and manufactured.

The company recently revealed a new “disruptive” technology using 3D printing to produce nodes. These nodes are used to connect straight sections of carbon fiber tubing to create strong, triangulated, lightweight, rigid structures to make automotive chassis. 

Image courtesy of Divergent Microfactories.

Image courtesy of Divergent Microfactories.

Their unique approach will be used to manufacture their very own supercar, which they’re calling the Blade.

This is a path well travelled and, so far, history has shown it always leads to dead ends. From Bricklin to DeLorean, attempts to build a viable production sports car have ended in tears. Divergent, however, are attacking teh cost equation at the root with their unique build technique.

Their triangulated space-frame technology hangs the body outside of the space frame. This is a tried-and-true method of building automobiles and aircraft, but, for supercar purposes, I’m left skeptical.

Typical lightweight cars use monocoque construction, where the entire structure of the vehicle contributes to the chassis’ strength, including the outer skin, much like how modern aircraft are built.

Will DM’s technology work? Apparently so, as a prototype is up and running. But will it turn into something profitable? Maybe if the company tackles the high-end supercar market — with its limited production and very high price tags.

I think it’s difficult to say whether or not DM’s Blade supercar will change the world of auto manufacturing. My gut tells me that the Blade will not succeed as a mass-produced automobile. However, I think it utilizes a fascinating technology that could be applied to other kinds of structures in a modular way, or maybe even in racing vehicles.

To learn more about DM’s Blade supercar, visit

Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.