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Local Motors will 3D-print a car
Local Motors, purveyor of the excellent Rally Fighter that TG had a go in a few years back, is in the process of making the world’s first full-sized, driveable car using parts made almost entirely using 3D-printing technology. Yes, ladies and gents, it seems the future is truly upon us.
The car will be called the ‘Strati’ and is being printed and assembled by Local Motors at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), which is currently being held in Chicago.
As the printers spray out each individual piece of the car, a team of ‘rapid assembly’ engineers will then put the individual pieces into place. Local Motors claims that the ‘Strati’ will only have 40 parts - as opposed to the average 2,000 parts found in most vehicles - and will take 44 hours to print. Then, on the final day of the IMTS it hopes to drive its creation off the show floor.
The entire bodywork, seats, windshield and support structures will all be churned out by a robot in layers upon layers of fast-hardening carbon fibre and plastic.
Obviously, not all of the parts of the Strati are printed. The electric powertrain has been lifted from a Renault Twizy. Other mechanical parts such as the battery, wiring and suspension will be sourced from a ‘variety of different suppliers”.
The Strati was conceived as part of a design competition run by Local Motors. Italian Michele Anoé - who beat over 200 applicants to the $5,000 prize - created the winning design. Perhaps more important for the Italian designer though is the chance to have his name attached to such a ground breaking project.
Local Motors plans to start putting the Strati on the market “in the months following the show,” so, if you live in the States, you’ll be able to get your hands on a Strati very soon. Is anyone else’s tiny mind blown by the concept of a 3D-printed car, or is it just ours?