Sep 15, 2014

Local Motors made history last weekend when their 3D-printed car, Strati, drove out of McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. During the six-day IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014, the vehicle was printed over 44 hours then rapidly assembled by a team led by Local Motors.

The historic first drive took place the morning of Saturday, September 13. Local Motors became the first company to ever 3D print, assemble and then drive an electric vehicle within 6 days.

The Strati is not the first ever car to be 3D printed. The Urbee, created in Sep 2011, was the world's first '3D printed' car made using used Stratasys' 3D printers. But 3D printing the whole Urbee car took 2,500 hours, while the Strati was printed and assembled in just 6 days!

The Strati was 3D printed in one piece using direct digital manufacturing (DDM), which is the first time this method has been used to make a car. Mechanical components, like battery, motor, wiring, and suspension, are sourced from a variety of suppliers, including Renault's Twizy, a line of electric-powered city cars.

The innovative and bold vehicle uses the material science and advanced manufacturing techniques pioneered at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) machine, developed by Cincinnati Incorporated, was used for actual production. The deposition rate of 40 pounds per hour of carbon reinforced ABS plastic and the large size mean that large parts, like a car, can be produced with precise accuracy.

Watch below videos showing the first drive of the 3D printed car around McCormick Place. Local Motor's next plan is to launch production-level 3D-printed vehicles that will be available to the general public for purchase in the months following the show. For more details on the project, head on over to its website here.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Robert Boeker wrote at 9/16/2014 1:40:31 AM:

Love that!!! Is there a possibly to produce something I can put my own drive train in? I'm thinking it would be a good platform for a civic motor!!! :-)

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