Local Motors Rolls Out The First Ever 3D Printed Car
The day is not too far when you may have a customized car designed for yourself. The fast advancing technology will soon allow you to choose the number of seats and design for your car and have the car ready by day-end. This is what Jay Rogers views for the future of cars. Rogers is the CEO of Local Motors. Local Motors is the same company that has come up with world’s first ever 3D printed car, Strati.
The car has been unveiled only last week at the IMTS, the International Manufacturing Technology Show, in Chicago, Illinois. The 3D printed car is a small two-seater. While the designing and concept took years to be complete, the printing took only 44 hours. In general, the conventional cars contain somewhere around five thousand and six thousand parts, whereas Strati is made of forty nine parts only, which includes its 3D printed body as well.
You will also find the traditional components like seats, wheels, motors, and windshield. There are many existing 3D car designs but Strati is the first 3D printed car that is driveable.
The history of Strati
“Strati” is an Italian term for ‘layers’. Local Motors has not worked up the design for Strati. Rather, the company encourages the members to share design ideas for vehicles which are then productized. The company then sells these finished products online or through retail stores.
Eighteen months ago Local Motors had launched a project which aimed at simplifying the designing and manufacturing of cars by means of Direct Digital Manufacturing. As it threw the challenge for driveable 3D printed car designs, the company received as many as two hundred submissions. Finally, Local Motors chose to work with the design submitted by an Italian, Michele Anoe.
Anoe’s design stood out from the rest because it kept up with the dream design of the company and also included subtractive machining. Oak Ridge Labs, the production partner of Local Motors, found a company that had the base of laser printer and which was retrofitted with 3D extruder. The other part of the process of 3D production was done in another company, Thermwood Corp. which provided the present appearance of the car.
Features of Strati
The car is printed in thermoplastic or ABS, reinforced with carbon fiber. The car can drive at a speed of 40 miles per hour. Strati can be driven 120 miles on a single charge. While the car is good for travelling in neighboring areas, it has not yet received the license to be driven on road by the manufacturer.
If you consider buying this 3D printed car in future, it will not cost you less than a full sized sedan. However, you cannot consider it a luxury car. The vehicle will be available by 2016 and will be priced between $18000 and $34000.