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World’s first 3-D printed car on-sale in 2015

Local Motors announces it will begin production of 3-D printed cars from 2015 after a successful showing at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

A US company, Local Motors, has used its stand at the SEMA show in Las Vegas to demonstrate the speed and ease with which it can build a car using 3-D printing. Local Motors says it will be the first company to offer a 3-D printed car for sale when it opens up its order books in 2015, it claims prices will range from $18,000 – $30,000.

At SEMA, Local Motors took parts from a Renault Twizzy, a 3-D printer and a whole heap of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic paste (which once spun out of the printer hardens and was used to produce the body, chassis and dashboard) to manufacture, in front of show-goers, a 3-D printed car. It took just 44 hours for the team to print and build its car. The prototype model has only 50 components as opposed to the upwards of 20,000 in other vehicles.

“We started in the wee hours of the morning today on day 3 of SEMA to start the rapid assembly of the 3D-printed car. After 44 hours in the printer and about 10 for milling, the crew started assembling the car’s vehicle components that we outsourced from the Renault Twizy. While the car was being assembled we decided we’d print some stuff for fun and made a few 3D-printed chairs so onlookers could sit back and enjoy the show,” Local Motors said in its Instagram feed.

The company also announced at SEMA the launch of a competition inviting the “hot rod and motor vehicle aftermarket community to ‘hack up’ and modify a 3D-printed vehicle, just like they would any other car. It will start with a design proposal challenge where 12 deserving gear heads will be awarded with a 3D-printed car body to make their own. The ModMen Challenge will meet at SEMA 2015, where all 12 of the modified cars will be presented and judged, with one vehicle emerging victorious as the grand prize winner and title of ultimate ‘ModMan’” a statement read.

“From racing, to street, to show, car modification has always been the true soul of vehicle innovation,” said Local Motors Co-founder and CEO John B. Rogers, Jr. “At Local Motors, our goal is to fuel the next great generation of ‘Hot Rodders’ by putting the newest technology in their hands, and the ModMen Challenge does exactly that. These are not just 12 cars customized with aftermarket parts, but a peek into the future of automotive re-imagination. I cannot wait to see how this group pushes the boundary of 3D-printed cars.”


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober