2015 Detroit Auto Show: World’s first 3D printed car to be printed, refined and assembled live at the event
Local Motors, American motor vehicle manufacturing company have unveiled the world’s first 3D printed car at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Called Strati, which means ‘layers’ in Italian, Local Motors are fabricating and assembling the car right on the floor of Cobo Hall at the event using 3D printing. One of the most innovative vehicle at the auto show, the two-seater Strati the Strati is the first model in a line of 3D printed vehicles that his company plans to produce in the near future.
At the North American International Auto Show floor, Local Motors will showcase the proprietary three-phased manufacturing process for 3D printing cars. The first phase includes the creation of the 3D-printed car structure. Made from ABS plastic and reinforced with carbon fiber, the structure takes approximately 44 hours to print 212 layers. The second phase of the process involves refining. Once 3D printing is complete, the 3D-printed car structure moves to a Thermwood CNC router that mills the finer details.
After printing and refining, the final phase of the 3D-printed manufacturing is quick assembly. It includes addition of non 3D-printed parts including the drivetrain, electrical components, gauges and wiring and the tires. Finally, a vinyl wrapping, paint or other external surface treatment is used to supplement the 3D-printed texture.
Local Motors have announced two new micro-factory locations for the mass production of the 3D printed cars. One is in Knoxville, Tenn. and other at National Harbor, just outside Washington DC where the first fleet of 3D-printed cars will be manufactured and sold. If you are impressed by Strati, you can also check another innovative vehicle introduced at the auto show, a 3D printed 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 by US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.