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Stacey Phillips

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Stacey Phillips is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and writer and has assisted a wide range of businesses and fields. In addition, Stacey has co-authored two books.

 

She can be reached at stacey@radiantwriting.com. 

 
Thursday, 07 April 2022 11:00

TN Auto Body Shop Owner Focuses on 3D Printing and Manufacturing Car Parts, Proprietary Coatings

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Rick Spears, owner of Malibu Collision and TRU-DESIGN, partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to 3D print a 1965 Shelby Cobra replica for the Detroit Auto Show. Rick Spears, owner of Malibu Collision and TRU-DESIGN, partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to 3D print a 1965 Shelby Cobra replica for the Detroit Auto Show.

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Rick Spears, owner of Malibu Collision in Knoxville, TN, has always been interested in new technologies. As a result, he strived to incorporate state-of-the-art equipment and automotive materials in his collision repair facilities over the years.

Eventually, he opened TRU-DESIGN, a 3D printing company adjacent to his body shop. The company has worked on a wide range of projects, including a full-size, drivable Shelby Cobra, and produces proprietary additive manufacturing (3D-printed) coatings.

 

“3D printing is going to change everything in the future, including the body shop industry,” said Spears. “It’s really exciting to be part of this growing field that is taking off like a rocket.”

 

Born in Texas and raised in Florida, Spears became involved in the body shop business in 1975. He was attending school in Florida in the 1970s and received a scholarship in commercial art.

 

“I was dating a lady whose dad owned two Ford dealerships and I began painting for his business while attending college,” Spears recalled. “I quickly found that artistry paint doesn’t act the same as automotive paint.”

 

Hoping to work as an artist at Walt Disney World, he realized he could earn more painting cars than working as an artist. He worked his way up from a painter’s helper and sweeping floors to becoming a driver, then a manager, and later opened two collision repair facilities in Florida.

 

After moving to Tennessee, Spears opened Malibu Collision Center in 1999.

 

The company’s mission is to provide the most accurate and quality collision repairs possible. It specializes in using advanced technology on all customer vehicles for major collision repairs, restorations and custom work. This includes...


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