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A 3D-printed Car Comes to IMTS 2014

May 13, 2014 | Category: Industry Insights

In the world of additive manufacturing, some pretty amazing things have been 3D-printed—but what about the entire body of a car? Some independent automakers have printed certain parts and incorporated them into their designs. However, designing and printing the major elements of the exterior, the structure and the interior had yet to be attempted. Until now.

In the world of additive manufacturing, some pretty amazing things have been 3D-printed—but what about the entire body of a car? Some independent automakers have printed certain parts and incorporated them into their designs. However, designing and printing the major elements of the exterior, the structure and the interior had yet to be attempted. Until now.

Local Motors, an automotive start-up in Chandler, Ariz., partnered with IMTS—The International Manufacturing Technology Show to build the Rally Fighter on the show floor in 2012 in less than a week. For IMTS 2014, the company has taken on a more difficult project—building and delivering the first direct digital manufactured vehicle. And on top of that, it will be fully electric.

Designed by the company's global community and built using the material science and advanced manufacturing techniques available at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, Local Motors will produce an electric vehicle purpose-built for Chicago's urban transportation needs.

“IMTS is the perfect venue on which to showcase the next evolution of Local Motors' World of Vehicle Innovations,” says Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers. “To deliver the first co-created, locally-relevant, 3D-printed vehicle on an international stage dedicated to celebrating cutting-edge manufacturing technology is powerful reinforcement of our commitment to driving the third Industrial Revolution.”

Built in the Emerging Technology Center during the week of IMTS 2014, the finished vehicle will be used as an example of how sustainable green technologies can reduce life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions, lower production cost, and create new products and opportunities for high paying jobs.

For more information on the project and the Emerging Technology Center, visit the IMTS website at imts.com/show/etc.html.