It doesn’t actually drive, but it’s still pretty cool!

While it’s not available here in the U.S. for some stupid reason, the Nissan Qashqai is a big deal for Nissan over in Europe. It’s sold in Japan and Australia as the Nissan Dualis, but in Europe, the Qashqai name represents Europe’s most popular crossover. It’s so popular, in fact, that when the 500,000th model rolled off the line back in July of 2015, it broke a record for the fastest time a U.K.-built vehicle hit the half-million mark. As such, Nissan decided to up the ante a bit and create a “flagship” model in the form of a limited-production Black Edition model. Based on the Tekna trim level, it represents a $1,200 savings compared to equipping a standard Tekna in the same way. And now, to celebrate the car’s launch, Nissan has commissioned a team of artists to create a life-sized 3D drawing of the Qashqai Black Edition.

Nissan produces 58 examples of the Qashqai per hour at its Sunderland plant in the U.K., but creating the sculpture was no easy task, taking a team of 3D artists a total of 800 man-hours to complete. As the largest 3D sculpture created to date, it measures 14.44 feet long and 5.25 feet high – the exact measurements of the real Qashqai. It took three weeks and an astonishing 8.57 miles of plastic strands to complete, all of which was completed using 3Doodler branded 3D pens.

Grace Du Prez, the lead artist on this project, said, “I’ve been drawing with 3Doodler’s pens for a few years now, but this is by far and away my most ambitious commission to date. It demonstrates how far 3D printing technology has come and how it can be used by anyone.” While the Koji Nagano, the Vice president of Nissan Design Europe, said, “At Nissan we always encourage initiatives where design can be expressed through new and innovative technologies. This artistic team has certainly pushed the boundaries of 3D pen technology in creating an impressive sculpture of our premium Qashqai Black Edition.”

So, now the Nissan Qashqai will officially be produced in 3,361 units, one of which is a plastic 3D sculpture that took a lot of teamwork and time to complete.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it Matters

While this type of project probably won’t bring money to Nissan, it’s a pretty cool way to celebrate its limited-edition flagship model. As the most popular crossover in Europe, creating a 3D sculpture of the Qashqai completely makes sense. I find it crazy that it took more than 800 man hours and more than eight miles of plastic strands, but given the detail, I’m kind of surprised that it didn’t take more than that. Furthermore, the extreme detail of the sculpture just goes to show how far 3D printing has come, and the fact that something like this can be made using a 3D pin is absolutely amazing. I tip my hat to the artists that put this thing together. Definitely a fine piece of work.

Press Release

Nissan draws Qashqai Black Edition premium crossover using only innovative 3Doodler 3D pen technology
Largest 3D pen artwork ever produced; 13.8 km of plastic strands and 800 man-hours
Black Edition brings even greater style and sophistication to the Qashqai – Europe’s best-selling crossover
Skilled design team used 3D pens supplied by 3Doodler
Nissan has created the world’s largest sculpture using innovative 3Doodler 3D pen technology, drawing a stunning full-sized replica of the new Qashqai Black Edition to celebrate the car’s launch.

The amazing artwork was painstakingly hand-drawn by a talented team of 3D pen artists, using pens supplied by leading brand 3Doodler. They worked with true attention to detail to ensure their creation expressed the premium design and refined sophistication of the new crossover – which is on sale now.

The Nissan Qashqai is Europe’s most popular crossover. While Nissan produces 58 every hour at its plant in Sunderland, UK, this bespoke version took 800 man-hours to complete over a three-week period. The final sculpture is 4.4 metres long and 1.6 metres high – the same as the Nissan Qashqai Black Edition.

The 3D printing industry is predicted to be worth more than $17 billion by 2020*. As a design technology, it has become increasingly common in manufacturing in recent years, including in the automotive sector.

Launching the innovation on the mass market, the 3Doodler Create 3D pen allows anyone to draw in the air to produce unique three-dimensional shapes and patterns. It works by heating solid plastic to 230°C and forcing it through a nozzle just 0.7 mm wide as it cools. Led by artist Grace Du Prez, the team of artists brought the Qashqai Black Edition to life with an astonishing 13.8 kilometres of plastic strands.

Grace Du Prez commented: “I’ve been drawing with 3Doodler’s pens for a few years now, but this is by far and away my most ambitious commission to date. It demonstrates how far 3D printing technology has come and how it can be used by anyone.”

Koji Nagano, Vice President, Nissan Design Europe, commented: “At Nissan we always encourage initiatives where design can be expressed through new and innovative technologies. This artistic team have certainly pushed the boundaries of 3D pen technology in creating an impressive sculpture of our premium Qashqai Black Edition”

The real Nissan Qashqai Black Edition is limited to just 3,360 units across Europe to ensure its exclusivity. Based on flagship Tekna trim level, it has been enhanced further by a number

of contemporary styling features. These include smart 19-inch ‘Ibiscus’ black alloy wheels, signature Black Edition door sills, plus front and rear silver styling plates. The car is also available with Qashqai’s panoramic glass roof, creating an even more stylish and sophisticated exterior and interior ambience.

The multi-award-winning Qashqai’s impressive quality, styling and innovative technologies continue to make it the best-selling crossover in Europe. For more information, please visit: http://www.nissan.eu/experience-nissan.html

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