2020 Land Rover Defender paint tested with 3D-printed dog paw
Land Rover clearly expects many of its owners to bring their canine companions along for the ride, hence the many dog accessories available for the 2020 Land Rover Defender. With that in mind, the company wanted to see what kind of wear and tear a medium-to-large dog could do to their new SUV. Its solution was to 3D print a dog paw.
To make an accurate paw required the assistance of the real thing. The company brought in a Labrador named Yogi from a guide dog center for observation. Land Rover testers set up sensors on a prototype Defender, and measured where Yogi set his paws, and with how much force he landed. Then they modeled an articulated artificial paw based on Yogi's real paws.
With the information from Yogi, Land Rover could then create a robot that could carry out tedious, repetitious durability testing on painted Defender parts. The machine would randomly drag the paw on a painted part 10 times, followed by a "linear scratch to one side." This process would then be repeated 5,000 times.
Land Rover didn't say exactly what the results were. Presumably, the Defender's paint is pretty tough, though we wouldn't be surprised if you still might see some scuffs and scrapes on the production car with so many scratches to unprotected paint. Of course if you don't want to take the risk, Land Rover has various protective coverings for the rear bumper to keep your pup's paws from marking up your Defender.