3D Printing A Car

Built – printed – in Detroit, in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the Strati is a small electric two-seater, the first of many models in Local’s plans.

The world’s first 3D-printed car is crude by design, its dashboard looking like stacked silicone beads from a caulking gun. Its flanks, meanwhile, are smooth, resembling the exposed parts of the BMW i3’s matte carbon tub.

Developing countries would love this technology for cheap transportation, but so might the rich guy who wants a thousand-horsepower car of his own design, printed in a production run of one. Or the carmaker that wants to churn out a complete car in ten hours rather than24, using a fraction of the components. Modern cars are complicated, but the union of 3D printing and electric propulsion – where the motor has just one moving part – points to a future in which that’s no longer a given.

(From Popular Mechanics, How to Make A Car… In Two Days, Vol. 192, No. 8)

I’m quite excited about the implications of 3D printing for the manufacturing space as a whole; it’s nice to see that big changes are already being worked on in one of the largest manufacturing industries out there.

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