Local Motors made history yesterday by becoming the first company to ever 3D print, assemble and then drive an electric vehicle, all within 6 days.
"This week, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Arizona-based automobile manufacturer Local Motors stole the show. Over the six day span of the IMTS, the company managed to 3D print, and assemble an entire automobile, called the ‘Strati’, live in front of spectators."
"Although the Strati is not the first ever car to be 3D printed, the advancements made by Local Motor with help from Cincinnati Inc, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have produced a vehicle in days rather than months."
For Local Motors, the big breakthrough here is the time it took to print and assemble the entire vehicle. Usually, the 3D printing process alone takes thousands of hours. However, for Local Motors, a breakthrough 3D printing machine cut the time down significantly.
According to 3D Print:
"This breakthrough was made possible by a machine produced by Cincinnati Inc., in cooperation with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine is capable of printing at speeds unheard of on traditional 3D printers. It is unbelievably able to lay down up to 40 pounds of carbon infused ABS plastic per hour, with precise accuracy. After an exciting six days of printing, in front of a live audience, the vehicle is finally complete. The only question that remained was, ‘Does it drive?”
As you'll see in the various videos here, it does drive.
Local Motors' next goal is to take 3D-printed vehicle into production. The company says that it hopes to begin the process of gearing up for public sales within the next few months.
For more on the efforts and achievements of Local Motors, head on over to its website here.
Press Release Below:
World’s First 3D-printed Car to Be Live Printed, Assembled During IMTS - The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 by Local Motors, Cincinnati Incorporated and Oak Ridge National Laboratory
After 44 hours, the world’s first 3D-printed, drivable vehicle to debut
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--History will be made when the world’s first 3D-printed car drives out of McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. During the six-day IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014, the vehicle will be printed over 44 hours then rapidly assembled by a team led by Local Motors with the historic first drive set to take place the morning of Saturday, September 13.
“These partnerships are pushing the envelope on emerging technologies, such as large scale additive manufacturing, and accelerating the growth of manufacturing in the United States.”
Called the Strati, the vehicle will be 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 Strati was designed by our community, made in our Microfactory, and will be driven by you,” said John B. Rogers, Jr., CEO of Local Motors. “This brand-new process disrupts the manufacturing status quo, changes the consumer experience, and proves that a car can be born in an entirely different way.”
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).
“This project represents the unique opportunity DOE’s National Laboratory System offers to the industry, to collaborate in an open environment to deliver fast, innovative, manufacturing solutions,” said Craig Blue, Director, Advanced Manufacturing Program and Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. “These partnerships are pushing the envelope on emerging technologies, such as large scale additive manufacturing, and accelerating the growth of manufacturing in the United States.”
“The Strati will be showcased in AMT’s Emerging Technology Center. The ETC was created to present manufacturing ‘technologies of the future’ from leading companies, universities, and government research labs,” noted Peter Eelman, Vice President – Exhibitions and Communications, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. “This feature returned IMTS to its roots as a forum where the latest technologies are first seen. This year is no exception, and we are confident that this will be the most exciting ETC effort yet.”
“The BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) machine can be 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 using additive technology,” said Andrew Jamison, CEO of Cincinnati Incorporated.
The vehicle proves the viability of using sustainable, digital manufacturing solutions in the automotive industry. Local Motors plans to launch production-level 3D-printed vehicles that will be available to the general public for purchase in the months following the show.
About Local Motors
From bytes-to-bits, the Local Motors platform empowers anyone to design, build, and sell the world’s coolest machines. The platform combines global co-creation and local micro-manufacturing to bring hardware innovations to market at unprecedented speed. The Company stewards a global co-creation community made up of enthusiasts, hobbyist innovators, and professionals that come together to solve complex mechanical problems. The Company operates a growing global network of micro-factories, each operating as a nexus for next-generation product development, where innovators create amazing products and consumers come to marvel and shop. localmotors.com
About IMTS – International Manufacturing Technology Show
The largest and longest running manufacturing technology trade show in the United States is held every other year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. IMTS 2014 will run September 8-13. IMTS is ranked among the largest trade shows in the world. Recognized as one of the world's preeminent stages for introducing and selling manufacturing equipment and technology, IMTS attracts more than 100,000 visitors from every level of industry and more than 112 countries. IMTS is owned and managed by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. IMTS.com
About AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology
AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members — those who design, build, sell, and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing. Founded in 1902 and based in Virginia, the association specializes in providing targeted business assistance, extensive global support, and business intelligence systems and analysis. AMT is the voice that communicates the importance of policies and programs that encourage research and innovation, and the development of educational initiatives to create tomorrow’s Smartforce. AMT owns and manages IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, which is the premier manufacturing technology event in North America.
About Cincinnati Incorporated
Cincinnati Incorporated is the oldest and only North American manufacturer of laser cutting systems, press brakes, and shears for the metal fabrication industry. CINCINNATI also manufactures powdered metal compacting presses, a production additive technology used primarily in the automotive industry. It developed the industry standard linear motor-driven laser cutting system. e-ci.com
About Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system. Managed since April 2000 by a partnership of the University of Tennessee and Battelle, ORNL has a staff of more than 4,400 focused on solving grand challenges in materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology, and national security. ornl.gov