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IT & Systems Management

Honda lets you 3D-print a car for fun, and we're waiting for the car parts, please

Honda is inviting you to 3D-print a car--just a model, unfortunately.

Honda recently unveiled Honda-3D.com as a portal for 3D-printable STL (Stereolithography) files. The downloads currently consist of a handful of Honda concept cars, including an upcoming Acura NSX, and older ones like the quirky Puyo concept from 2007, and the FSR from the 90's.

You can load the model into one of several new Windows 8 apps like 3D Builder or STL Viewer, many of them free. Once you have the 14-foot scale model of the NSX loaded, for instance, you can resize it at will, change the design and colors, and send it to a 3D printer.

While Honda says this is just for fun, we can't help wondering about a future of print-your-own car parts. If a taillight cover cracks, Honda could offer a 3D model file to print a replacement.

Honda's repair centers could have a few things to say about that, of course, and the materials for 3D printing today are designed more for an iPhone case or a toy rabbit, not the wear and tear of everyday driving. Still, a largely 3D-printed car called the Urbee-2 is due to make its maiden voyage next year. If a startup can do it, so could Honda.

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