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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The World's first 3D printed car

The 1st ONES - The marvels of 3D printing technology continue to astound us, pushing boundaries in ways we could never have imagined. While we were once amazed by the creation of 3D-printed houses, now the automotive industry is stepping into the spotlight with the introduction of the world's first fully-functional 3D-printed car – the Strati.
The Strati is the world's first practical-application car made with 3D printing technology. (Picture from: ChinaTopix)
Local Motors, an Arizona-based car manufacturing company, spearheaded this groundbreaking venture. The Strati, aptly named after the Italian word for "layers," boasts a solid, one-piece chassis crafted from carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic.
What's truly mind-boggling is that this vehicle comprises a mere 49 parts, a stark contrast to the conventional automobile's complex assembly of 5,000 parts
. Noteworthy is the fact that some components, such as the tires, wheels, battery, wiring, suspension, electric motor, and windshield, were still produced through traditional manufacturing methods.

The printing (pictured) took place during the six-day International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 in Chicago on September 2014. Cincinnati Inc, supplied the printer, which makes parts measuring 3 ft (1 metre) by 5 ft (1.7 metres) by 10 ft (3 metres). (Picture from: DailyMail)
Collaborating with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Local Motors unveiled the 3D-printed electric car at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in September 2014. The Strati's battery offers a respectable range between 193 km (120 miles) and 241 km (150 miles). While the vehicle can reach speeds of 60 kph (40 mph), regulatory approvals for road usage are still pending. Local Motors anticipates receiving the green light soon, allowing the Strati to hit the open roads.
The battery-powered, two-passenger car is made of layers of black plastic and reinforced with carbon fibre. (Picture from: DailyMail)
Impressively, almost every part of the Strati, except for the engine components, was meticulously crafted by a 3D printer. The entire printing process consumed approximately 44 hours, with an additional day dedicated to tidying up the prints and two more days for the setup. In total, a mere five days were required to bring this revolutionary car to life.
It's worth noting that claims of being the first 3D-printed car are not entirely new. In 2010, a 3D-printed car was introduced, but it focused solely on the panel parts. The Strati, on the other hand, embraces 3D printer technology for every facet of the vehicle, excluding the engine.
Local Motors envisions making these groundbreaking cars accessible to the public at an estimated cost of around U.S. $17,100 (or approximately £11,000) in the near future. As the automotive industry takes a giant leap forward with 3D printing, the Strati stands as a testament to the limitless possibilities that technology continues to unfold. Get ready for a future where innovation meets the open road, and where the ordinary becomes extraordinary. *** [EKA [11112014] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LOCAL MOTORS | DAILYMAIL | ABC NEWS]
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