The First 3D Printed Car

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Aayush Daftary, Contributor

The first 3D printed car in the world was made! Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the company Local Motors has just shown the newest and most innovative way of manufacturing cars.

Also called additive printing, 3D-printing prints 3 dimensional objects which starts from a single digital file. With only a printer, a digital file can potentially be turned into cars, buildings, and even rockets. To prepare a digital file for printing, it is cut into hundreds of small layers. The printer scans all these layers and prints it. It becomes a 3D-printed object when the printer is done printing. If the object is something that involves electricity, motors or other objects, like cars or phones, these devices  are attached after the additive printing process. This could save a lot of time and money. It also is eco-friendly.

At the 2015 Detroit Autoshow, Local Motors presented the first 3D-printed car called Strati. This 2-seater car, almost entirely made out of plastic components, can go up to 25 miles per hour. The car takes 44 hours to print. After that, a battery, motor and suspension from automaker Renault are added to the plastic vehicle. After that, this car is complete and working. Local Motors CEO, Jay Rodgers informed the Associated Press that the Strati will be one of the three cars that he will be selling. The Strati will cost from $18,000 to $30,000.

At the National Harbor, a shopping and entertainment area in Maryland, Local Motors are planning to build a microfactory, a center where cars are designed, manufactured and sold. As Jay Rodgers said “[The factory] will be like Build-A-Bear mashed up with Ikea mashed up with Formula 1.” The factory has not opened up yet, due to the need of local zoning law changes and that the Strati is not legal for the highway yet.

Many people are eager to ride this car when it has improved, but still, many people want to catch a quick glimpse of this plastic car and take a spin in it. The Strati is just in it’s primary stage of being a great car but it is the future of our 3D-printing technology. Long gone are the days where we can only print on paper. The 3D-printing technology opens a door to a world of possibilities.