Gone are the days of printing vases, jewelry and other small items with 3D printers. Startup Local Motors is planning to enter the automotive industry in the following year when it plans to launch the world’s first 3D printed car.
The Arizona-based Local Motors plans to make two versions of the ReLoad Redacted vehicle using the design by Kevin Lo, a Vancouver-based engineer, that won in a design contest Project Redacted challenge conducted by the startup. Apart from its stunning revolutionary design, the entry portrays many benefits of Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), including the potential to create a completely customizable vehicle. Also, its design has a flexible foundation that can be supportive of various styles and technology option.
Set to launch in before April next year, it would be low-speed battery car or so-called neighborhood electric vehicle, that would cost somewhere between $18,000 and $30,000. Full specification of the vehicle would be followed soon, said the company.
Local Motor is the first of its kind to make use of DDM in vehicle production, with the goal of decreasing the amount of tooling while improving the speed to market for highway-ready vehicles. It is aiming at using compact facilities that will only cost a half of what automobile manufacturing factories cost, and will require much lesser space.
” At Local Motors, we are hell-bent on revolutionizing manufacturing,” said the CEO and co-founder of Local Motors, John B.Rogers, Jr. ” Car manufacturers have been stamping parts the same way for more than 100 years. We now have the technology to make the process and products better and faster by linking the online to the offline through DDM (Direct Digital Manufacturing). This process will create better and safer products, and we are doing exactly that,” he added.
Local Motors opened Project Redacted to challenge the co-creation community to image, design and develop the next-generation of 3D-printed cars. The winning entry was selected after the voting process that stroke the Local Motors community and a professional judging panel, that included car enthusiast Jay Leno, SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak and SABIC Senior Manager Geert Jan Schellekens.