The World’s First 3D Printed Car Took Only 44 Hours to Print [Video]

First 3D printed car is ready to be driven.

3D printer technology is conquering the world. The vehicle world.

It looks like the future when everybody will be able to create its own unique version of a car is not as distant as one may think. Which is more, this lucky one will have a 3D printed car by the end of the day.

This is Jay Rogers’ vision. Rogers is the CEO of Local Motors, the company that just created the world’s first 3D printed car also known as the Strati. The electric, pint-sized two-seater was officially unveiled last week at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Illinois.

“Telsa made the electric drive train famous, we’re changing the whole car,” Rogers told reporters, clearly still relishing his community-based design and his company’s moment in the 3D manufacturing sun.

“According to Ford Motors, most cars have somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 parts. The Strati has just 49, including its 3D printed body (the largest part), plus more traditional components like the motor, wheels, seats and windshield. While many 3D printed car models exist, there haven’t been any other drivable ones that we could find,” Mashable writes.

“The original design for Strati, which means “layers” in Italian, did not bubble up directly from Local Motors. Rather, the company — similar to the inventions company Quirky — encourages members to share vehicle design ideas, which the community then works to perfect and productize. The finished products are then sold online and in retail stores by Local Motors,” the publication explains.

The company lauched this project half and a year ago seeking ways to simplify the car design and manufacturing process through Direct Digital Manufacturing. When it put out the call for workable 3D printed car designs, it received more than 200 offers and from which Michele Anoe’s design was chosen.

Local Motors CEO explained that Anoe’s was singled out as it fit perfectly with the company’s desired production technique, combining 3D printing and a subtractive machining.

However, there was one more problem to solved. It took Local Motors almost a year to find a company that could print the first car. The eventual production partner, Oak Ridge Labs, found a company with the base of a large laser printer, which they retrofitted with a 3D extruder. The second half of the 3D production process took place in a separate Thermwood Corp. manufacturing routing machine, which refined the overall look of the car.

Printing the car took about 44 hours, and milling it to perfection took another full day. Local Motors then built the Strati over the course of four days at the IMTS.

“We probably could have done it in two days or less,” Rogers said — but they stretched it out for the show.

“Printed in carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic or ABS, the finished Strati can drive at speeds up to 40 mph and can travel 120 miles on a single charge. It’s fine for a neighborhood jaunt, but is not yet allowed on highways,” Mashable says.

Meanwhile, Rogers noted that his company has plans to test the novelty extensively before selling it to customers or putting it on the freeway.

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