Who says 3-D printing is for furniture or accessory pieces only? Not anymore. Local Motors has gone the extra mile with its first ever 3-D printed car unveiled at Detroit Auto Show on Monday, according to The Washington Post. The Strati roadster design was a crowdsourced project, empowering contributors worldwide to participate in this innovative approach.
Local Motors believes that 3-D printing is the future of car manufacturing, and they’re serious in embracing disruptive technologies. On the same day, National Harbor, a Washington DC Suburb, announced that they are prepping up a laboratory and a showroom to house the Phoenix-based company’s products and 3-D printing sessions. However, the Prince George’s County Council would have to approve zoning changes for the micro-factory to materialise. “It’s like an IKEA. People will come from all around to experience it,” says chief strategy officer, Justin Fishkin.
Why does a micro factory represent manufacturing of the future?
And this is where the story becomes more exciting. Instead of showing-off car models like what happens in any traditional auto show, Local Motors blew the crowd’s minds by a show-off of live 3-D printing session of the Strati right there, which took 44 hours to finish it, 2 days on that note.
The Strati may not be that shining, shimmering car you would expect. It’s matte-finished, carbon-fibre made, clumpy, and since it’s born out of 3-D print, the nooks and crannies are rough and mostly unfinished. But the components then are polished until its full completion—a peculiar and far different manufacturing process compared with the traditional workflow where assemblymen and hefty machineries are involved.
Local Motors is known for crowdsourcing its fleet of vehicles like the Rally Fighter (an off-road car), The Racer (motorcycle), and Verrado (a tricycle), providing a stage for designers, engineers, and innovators to create custom-made designs.
The Strati roadster can run up to 40 hours per mile. While it’s not yet approve by the federal government for travelling, the company said the road-version is tagged between $25000 and $35000, and prices are dependent on the customisation.
Indeed, the power of the crowd is contagious. Jay Rogers, Founder and CEO of Local Motors spoke at CSW Global 2014 and his talk drew rave reviews – Watch the talk here.
Join the conversation on Strati online with #3DPrintedRide and #CSWGlobal15.
If you would like to learn more about crowdsourcing and its impact on your industry, join us at CSW Global 2015 in Singapore.