SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A car on display in San Francisco is being used as a showcase for what can be done with 3D metal printing.

The car is very light at just 1,500 pounds – less than half the weight of a Tesla, and also features a 700 horsepower engine that runs on either gasoline or natural gas.

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Kevin Czinger, founder of Divergent Micro Factories believes the technology will revolutionize manufacturing.

“If we don’t find a way to radically reduce the materials and energy we use, we are going to blow ourselves up,” Czinger said.

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The key to producing the complicated parts starts with metal powder.  Lasers melt a thin layer of the powder in precisely the right shape before another layer of powder is applied.  The process is repeated over and over until the finished piece is produced.

“The object of this is to put tools into people’s hands.  Small teams that can get together and use this on a sophisticated industrial level,” Czinger said.

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The cars won’t be available for at least a few years.