Local Motors to build 3D-printable car
Members of the online community Local Motors are constantly contributing designs for new vehicles, including 3D-printed cars. (Local Motors)
Published Wednesday, March 19, 2014 1:24PM EDT
Local Motors, an online community geared towards the production of innovative (often spectacular) vehicles, has announced that it will build its first “direct digital manufactured vehicle” during the next International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), which will be held in Chicago September 8-13.
The goal is to build a small electric car in just five days. The majority of the car's parts will be produced through 3D printing, aside from a small electric motor which will be added at the end of the manufacturing process.
One of Local Motors' goals is to show that this innovative production method can be as efficient and economical as methods currently in use among car manufacturers.
For this ambitious project, Local Motors partnered with the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a division of the US Department of Energy.
Launched in 2010, Local Motors brings together engineers, designers, car fans and other innovators, who pay a small subscription fee to take part in vehicle manufacturing projects. The online community's first original vehicle, the Rally Fighter, an interesting combination between an SUV and a coupe, was presented in 2011. The model even took part in the Gumball 3000 road race from New York to Los Angeles.
Other Local Motors projects have involved the construction of motorcycles and even toy vehicles, always in collaboration with local manufacturing facilities to reduce production costs.