We’re big fans of new technology here at NeMAC, and we’re having a hard time imagining anything cooler than a 3D printed car. Which, as it turns out, is exactly what’s underway at the 2014 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.
Local Motors first announced the project a few months ago, and has been planning for its production ever since. In an effort to showcase what’s truly possible in manufacturing, and to push 3D printing as we know it to the limit, the company decided to 3D print a car–hardly the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of objects that are ‘easy’ to print.
As it happens, though, the car’s simplicity is one of the things that Local Motors is touting. Whereas regular vehicles have some 2,000 parts, Local Motors claims that the Strati 3D printed car will only have 40. Powered by an electric motor, the car will take roughly 44 hours to print. It’s already in progress at IMTS, and Local Motors is hoping to have it up and running by Saturday. Needless to say, this is a very cool project.
All too often, critics of 3D printing claim that it’s impractical or that it doesn’t have enough uses. While the latter may be somewhat true, we’re in early days of the technology. And as for the former criticism, we think that a 3D printed car is anything but impractical. It may not be ready to hit the streets just yet, but projects like these are important stepping stones, and signs of what may be to come with 3D printing.
So who knows? Maybe some day, you’ll be driving to work in a 3D printed car. But until then, we’ll continue to get excited at big breakthroughs in technology like these.