American automobile manufacturer Local Motors has built the Strati, the world’s first 3D printed car.
The revolutionary vehicle, built by Local Motors with the help of other groups, was unveiled at the International Manufacturing Technology Show held in Chicago from Sept. 8 through Sept. 13.
The Strati only required 45 hours to print. It’s a two-seater electric car able to run at a top speed of 40 miles per hour. It has a range of up to 120 miles.
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By Marc Maligalig Sept 15, 2014 02:48 AM EDT
The 3D printed car is composed of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic infused with carbon fiber materials.
Local Motors said while other car builders have built cars using 3D printing before, it believes it’s the first company to ever attempt to build both the chassis and bodycomponents of a vehicle together using 3D printing.
Local Motors’ partners that helped it pioneer in 3D printed automobile include the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Cincinnati, Inc. and the Association for Manufacturing Technology.
“We expect in the next couple of months [printing a complete car] to be below 24 hours and then eventually get it below 10 hours, [down from 45 hours currently]” said John Rogers, chief executive officer of Local Motors.
“This is in a matter of months. Today, the best Detroit or Germany can do is 10 hours on a [production] line, after hundreds of years of progress.”
Local Motors held a six-week challenge for the design of the Strati, receiving over 200entries from 30 countries before picking the car’s final design.
The winning design was sent by Italy’s Michell Annoe. Annoe’s design called for the Strati’s body to be built in one piece, which took about 44 hours to print.
Local Motors said they plan on selling the electric car later in the year at a price of between US$18,000 up to US$30,000.
It intends to further refines the 3D printing process. Local Motors is based in Phoenix, Arizona.