There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that 3D printing is taking over the world. It is one of the most revolutionary inventions of our time and has captured the attention and imagination of many across the globe.
Just the thought of physically and quickly being able to print a three dimensional object in the comfort of your home (if you so wish) is rather intriguing.
That’s why so many people have started experimenting with 3D printing and seeing how far they can push the boundaries with this new technology. One such company that wasn’t afraid of taking things to the next level, is a company called Local Motors. In fact, they dreamt so big, that actually 3D printed a car. For reals.
I mean, we have seen some pretty out there thing seeing printed in 3D – from prosthetic limbs to weapons and guns (that actually work) – there seems to be no end to the imagination of those capable of 3D printing.
Local Motors, however, is the first company we’ve heard of that actually decided to print a full size, drivable car.
Sure, its being printed component by component, but it is still incredibly impressive, and, if it actually works well, has the power to change the way we think about manufacturing cars (although we’re pretty sure no one would want a plastic car…)
At the recent International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, Local Motors showed off their latest invention.
The company actually printed a plastic car, live, in front of the thousands of attendees. To be technical, they printed components of the car which included the chassis, door panels, seats and other components – all into one piece.
The first part of the phase, which included the printing of all of these parts, took less than 48 hours and was completed in a mere 44 hours. Pretty impressive indeed.
James Earle, engineer at Local Motors, said that in the future, it may only cost $7000 to manufacture a car, which of course is significantly less than it is now.
It will certainly also open up the possibilities of custom car design. As Earle says:
“You can make a vehicle for yourself that’s basically a one-0ff, do the entire design…[sic] You could create custom-fit seats that conform to your shape, things like that, that you couldn’t do with cars now.”
Well, we are certainly very impressed – and would jump at the opportunity to 3D print our own, custom car.