The World’s First 3D-Printed Car

Local Motors, the Phoenix based car company, has an unorthodox approach to designing and manufacturing automobiles. They crowdsource design on a global scale to solve local problems, then engage local microfactories to manufacture small runs of their vehicles. This blend of “co-creation and micro-manufacturing” enables Local Motors “to bring hardware innovations to market at unprecedented speed.”

They unveiled their latest innovation, the world’s first 3D-printed car, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago this past September. The Strati was printed at IMTS by Cincinnati Inc., an Ohio-based machine manufacturer, on their new BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) printer.

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According to Local Motors, “Everything on the car that could be integrated into a single material piece has been printed. This includes the chassis/frame, exterior body, and interior features. The mechanical components of the vehicle, like battery, motors, wiring, suspension, etc. are sourced from Renault’s Twizy, an electric powered city car.”

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The BAAM, which has a build envelope of 6.6 x 13.1 x 2.9 ft, laid down 212 layers of carbon fiber reinforced ABS to create the Strati in just 44 hours, though they intend to cut the printing process down to 24 hours before production begins in 2015. The target price for this vehicle is $17,100.

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Check out this video to see how it all came together: