Several teams worked together to design a driveable 3D printed car during the six-day International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. Local Motors teamed up with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to 3D print a car in a radical new way that could change how the auto industry works.
The world’s first 3D-printed car dubbed “the Strati” is a two-seater neighborhood electric car with a range of 120 miles and a top speed of 40 mph. Local motors took the chassis, seats, door panels, and thousands of other parts, and 3D printed all those components into just one piece. Then, the non-printable components like glass windows, headlights, the motor and battery and a few other parts were added.
The rapid assembly went live in front of the attendees at McCormick Place by Cincinnati Incorporated over a 44-hour period.
Local Motors CEO John Rogers told Scientific American that in the next couple of months the entire assembly would take less than 24 hours and then gradually get it below 10 hours.
He further added that , if your family goes from two to three, you can customize the center part of your car and all the components that outfit the family. You can design the car the way you want.
A 3D printed car like this will only have dozens of components. You could design custom-fit seats that conform to your shape, things like that, that isn’t possible with cars now.
Engineers working on Strati say they hope to bring the car to market by 2015, with initial use on city streets, before getting approval for highways.
The initial retail cost would start at $18,000 and go upwards of $30,000. However, when it comes time for a change, many of the components can be recycled.