Design of the Week: VW Beetle Classic

By on February 14th, 2022 in Design, news

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3D printed classic VW Beetle [Source: Ed van der Heijden / YouMagine]

This week’s selection is the VW Beetle Classic by Ed van der Heijden.

This might be the first time we’ve selected a car 3D model as our design of the week, and really we should have picked others in the past. This one is quite interesting.

van der Heijden has produced a rather detailed 3D model of the classic VW Beetle. According to the description, it’s the 1971-73 Type 1 version, in 1:45 scale.

Here is a video of a couple of these models printed and fully assembled:

This is definitely not a one-object-print project. In fact there are fifteen parts required to be separately printed and then assembled into the classic car.

3D printed classic VW Beetle [Source: Ed van der Heijden / YouMagine]

In this view you can see that the body can be lifted to reveal the in-real-life questionable air-cooled engine inside.

This ancient vehicle, now with a five-decade gap between it’s emergence and today, might not have much significance to you. But it does to me.

You see, long ago I happened to be the proud owner of a 1969 VW Beetle, the version just before this one. It was my first vehicle, purchased for $100, and it was absolutely terrible. It was old, broken, slow, unpredictable and very poorly equipped with features. For example, the turn signal indicator on the dashboard was a single light: it would flash if you were turning left OR right!

But it was mine, and that’s why it’s important to me.

Cars are a very personal thing. They are expensive to acquire and maintain, and accompany the owner everywhere they go. Because of this many car owners develop bonds with their old vehicles, even though they may have long since disappeared into the junk heap.

I happened to come across this 3D model by pure accident. But it got me thinking: wouldn’t it be delightful if one could 3D print small models of ALL the cars you’ve owned?

3D printed classic VW Beetle [Source: Ed van der Heijden / YouMagine]

Is this actually possible? For fun I attempted to find 3D models of my previously owned vehicles on a variety of public 3D model repositories. Some vehicles were easily found. But others were not present, and only related models were found. A few of the automobile 3D models were freely downloadable, but many carried price tags, some as high as US$129 for a single 3D model.

In the end it would have cost me quite a bit of cash to obtain all these 3D models. That’s not something most people would want to do.

Alas, I was therefore quite luck to find this particular VW Beetle 3D model.

Have you ever run across a car model that resonated with your history?

Via YouMagine

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

1 comment

  1. Thanks, Kerry,
    Thank you very much for highlighting one of my prints in your collum. This makes me happy to continue to make fun designs that are accessible to everyone for free.
    Kind regards,
    Ed van der Heijden (ed-sept7)

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