When most of us think of Knight Rider, we recall our favorite episodes from the epic David Hasselhoff television series which was produced between 1982 and 1986. In all, NBC broadcasted 90 different episodes over four entertaining seasons of the show, with many fans were left heartbroken when it went off the air in 1986. Today, there are still huge fan clubs dedicated to the show as well as individuals who try to replicate the famous car the best they can.
For three Knight Rider fans, named Clement, Nicolas, and Patrick, 3D printing has become a large part of their lives. In fact, they helped Nicolas’s cousin Sebastien to build a large 3D printer in order to to use it to create Sebastien’s very own full-size, working replica of KITT, the famous talking car from Knight Rider.
“At first the parts were made using glass fiber,” the three men tell 3DPrint.com. “However since less than a year now, most of the parts are made using 3D printers.”
To start this project, Sebastien got ahold of a 1987 Pontiac Firebird, which they gradually modified over the course of the last 8 years, to transform it into a replica of the famous Knight Rider car. It certainly wasn’t easy, and definitely was not a quick to finish project, but in the end, the results came out phenomenally well. While most of the exterior parts of the car are original pieces from the 1987 Firebird, except with a newly painted black finish, many of the mechanisms which make the gadgets move around on the car are actually 3D printed.
For those of you familiar with the TV show, you will know that KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) is made up of many futuristic features, such as a molecular bonded shell, a voice synthesizer, a grappling hook and winch, a flame thrower, and dozens of other fascinating mechanics. Of course most of these features would be impossible to recreate on a replica–but the features which were able to be replicated were in fact created.
Most of the 3D printed parts were printed in PLA, while some were made up of the stronger ABS material. Below you can see an entire list of the parts that were 3D printed for this KITT replica, as we were told by the creators.
- Relay box support (PLA)
- Cable ties under the car (PLA)
- License plate gearing (PLA)
- 90% of the license plate mechanism
- Hood mechanism linear bearing supports
- Hood mechanism stops
- Gear knob (ABS)
- Luminous indicator cover (PLA)
- All the electronic facades of the dashboard (PLA)
- Ceiling light button supports (PLA)
- Rocker panel supports (PLA)
- Front Scanner box (ABS)
- Speedometer sensor enclosure (PLA)
- Door handle caps (PLA)
- Scissor mechanism to move outside rear side panels (PLA)
- Side panel mechanism hinge (PLA)
- Back license plate: sensors end stops (PLA)
- Back door electric mechanism (motor support and gearing) (PLA)
- Clips to fix internal panels
On the front bumper:
- Radiator grid supports
- Radiator grids
- Flashing light (cover box, supports, plexiglass support)
- Fog lamp supports and high intensity headlamp pivot
- Upper front bumper mechanism cover and supports(ABS)
“You may say that PLA is the wrong material for this type of application, but the parts are printed with 100% infill and a special treatment is applied so that they keep their shape and don’t break or get warped from heat,” the three men tell us.
This amazing replica is currently located in Vaucluse, a department in the southeast of France. Just about all of the mechanical features that were created for this car can be operated via remote control. All of the electronics were also handmade by these amazing designers/engineers.
What do you think about this replica? Does it look and operate like how you would expect the original Knight Rider car to function? Discuss in the Knight Rider Car Replica forum thread on 3DPB.com. Be sure to check out the video of the car below.