3-D Printed Cars: Would You Drive One?
Fire up your computer, pull up some plans, hit “Print” and you’ve got a car? For Phoenix-based Local Motors, it’s almost that simple! The Strati is the company’s newest vehicle, completely created using a 3-D printer, except for just a couple of items, including headlights and the environmentally-friendly electric motor.
Using a crowd-sourced design, the company applied a brand-new manufacturing process to create the Strati in just 44 hours. Local Motors adapted “direct digital manufacturing” to create its new two-seater electric vehicle, which is made from the same materials used to make Legos.
It’s a pretty simple vehicle too. Whereas traditional vehicles have around 20,000 parts, the Strati has just 40 parts. All this adds up to a vehicle that can travel up to 40 mph, and weights a svelte 1,500 pounds, about half the weight of a traditional vehicle.
Like all new vehicle manufacturers, Local Motors is excited about its chances of changing the automobile industry in big ways. But it sure has gained a lot of attention, and it’s poised to gain even more when the Strati goes on sale in late 2014 for between $18,000-$30,000.
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