Print your own Octavia at home

Print your own Octavia at home

You can have all the latest Škoda models at home. You can even make them yourself. How?

5. 3. 2024 Škoda World

Not a real car, of course. But if you have a 3D printer at home, you can – officially and straight from the source – download the data you need to print physical models of Škoda cars. This project is part of the Škodaverse initiative, which is all about exploration of new technologies, pushing boundaries between the digital and physical worlds and co-creation with our customers and community. The premiere of the modernised Octavia got the ball rolling, and more cars will gradually be added. And soon there will come a time when you’ll be able to print a range of accessories for your Škoda.

The whole thing arose out of a simple idea: “The team I supervise processes all the mass-produced models in 3D for the configurator. In the virtual space we assemble the complete car in the form in which it rolls off the production line. This lets customers configuring their car online get a realistic image of the car being put together. When they change the paint colour, choose different wheels, pick a steering wheel or the interior trim, they can see what their car will look like in the images created from our 3D model. We wondered about possible other uses for our data – how to bring it even closer to our customers. We have all our cars in top quality down to the last detail, so why not take advantage of that?” says Pavel Brendl from Škoda’s rollout and digital content management department.

Pavel Brendl
rollout and digital content management department

Competition to win a 3D Octavia

A competition for 3D printing fans was announced to mark the unveiling of the upgraded fourth-generation Octavia and the launch of a 3D printing project. They were asked to print one of the models and photograph it in the most attractive and interesting setting. Take a look at their work.

The platform already has print data for two cars, the recently upgraded Octavia and the Enyaq Coupé electric SUV. A simplified 1:72 scale version can be printed in about an hour, a more elaborate 1:24 scale model is also available. The latter takes up to fourteen hours to print and, at around 20 cm in size, offers a lot of detail, including spinning wheels. “The body is printed, then the rim and then the tyre separately, though it’s also made of plastic, of course. The tyre clips onto the rim and the rim is fitted onto a small pre-printed protrusion in the wheel arch.”

3D-printed models of the Enyaq Coupé and the new generation of the Škoda Octavia

One of the leading 3D printer manufacturers, Prusa Research, played a key role in the project. “We really like what they’re doing, their products are high quality and affordable. We’re glad that they agreed to the partnership: their know-how and support is valuable for us to make everything run smoothly. At the same time, they’ve built up a large community of enthusiasts around them and we hope that our models will find a positive response there,” says Brendl.

“It’s amazing to see how quickly things are changing: Škoda is setting an example for all the big brands by sharing digital files on Printables and thus making a real connection with customers, creators and a whole new community. It makes me very happy, and I can’t wait to see what comes next! Will the next thing be real car parts and accessories, or old car models? And who else is going to get involved?" adds Josef Průša, founder of Prusa Research.

Josef-Prusa_e7b5f8b1 Josef Průša
Prusa Research

How is the data for 3D models generated?

How does Pavel Brendl’s team get the three-dimensional data for each model? They don’t scan the data themselves – they use already modelled parts that are created during the development and construction of the cars. “For the configurator, we only take ʻface’ parts, i.e. what the customer can actually see in the car at a glance, both inside and out. We go part by part: steering wheel, doors, pedals and so on. Then we assemble the individual parts into a complex model. This requires a certain logic, so you have the right wheels, bumpers, steering wheels, colours etc. Then we take materials from the design department, collect real samples of them and scan them, converting them into a three-dimensional virtual model and applying them to the individual parts so that the materials also look realistic,” Brendl describes.

The project as a whole has wider ramifications. “Today we’re all kind of caught in a virtual world. Better and more beautiful videos are being created, articles are being written, podcasts are being broadcast, and people are watching all this on their mobile phones... And suddenly we’re coming up with something tangible that we can pick up and hold. And everyone we’ve shown the project to has been fascinated by that aspect of it. It’s not just about fun. The models have practical applications too: they’re used in the Škoda academy for apprentices and in the training centre for employees, who can get a closer look at the working of the production line thanks to 3D printing. Or they can help dealerships when they want to show customers a new product that hasn’t yet arrived in the showroom. Last but not least, it’s simply a boyhood dream come true – making your own car,” says Milan Dědek enthusiastically.

3D model of the car after printing

Data for new 3D models will gradually be added. Next in line are the new generations of the Kodiaq and Superb, and the plan is to cover the complete model range. “We’re preparing cars that are currently in production, but we’re also communicating with other departments and would like to offer models of historic cars, concept cars and cars from the Škoda Motorsport workshop. And in the more distant future there will be accessories and various Simply Clever solutions that our colleagues in development are planning,” says Dědek. 

These accessories include luggage compartment hooks, mobile phone holders and seat enhancements. Another interesting application is found in the virtual space of the Škodaverse, where it will be possible to combine gaming activities with 3D printing – there is talk of unlocking premium 3D data as a reward for achieving certain results in a game or skill competition,  for example.

Not just for 3D printing

The data and images from the configurator are used in other places as well. One of these is the MyŠkoda app – from which customers can download a visualisation of their real car in a given configuration. The data are also used for displaying warehoused cars or on individual model websites. The data are also shared with other departments, such as marketing, which uses the visuals for advertising brochures and catalogues. Even before the actual configurator is available, the customer may come across the web visualiser, the very first interactive element they come into contact with. This lets you display a 360o image of the car, change the wheels or colours, and look inside the interior.

3D-printed models of the Enyaq Coupé and Škoda Octavia

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