3D Printing an Entire Car
When it comes to 3D printing, new breakthroughs and new achievements are being realized at an increasing rate — layer by layer. From 3D printable human tissue, to a 3D printed life-size castle, to 3D printed guns, and now a 3D printed automobile, the technology is here to stay.
This week, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Arizona-based automobile manufacturer Local Motors stole the show. Over the six day span of the IMTS, the company managed to 3D print, and assemble an entire automobile, called the ‘Strati’, live in front of spectators.
Although the Strati is not the first ever car to be 3D printed, the advancements made by Local Motor with help from Cincinnati Inc, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have produced a vehicle in days rather than months.
This breakthrough was made possible by a machine produced by Cincinnati Inc., in cooperation with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine is capable of printing at speeds unheard of on traditional 3D printers. It is unbelievably able to lay down up to 40 pounds of carbon infused ABS plastic per hour, with precise accuracy. After an exciting six days of printing, in front of a live audience, the vehicle is finally complete. The only question that remained was, ‘Does it drive?”
The car, which features just 40 parts, drove out of McCormick Place in Chicago just moments ago. As to what Local Motors plans to do next with the Strati 3D printed car, now that the vehicle has been printed and drives like a charm, they will seek to launch production-level 3D printed vehicles for sale to the public in the coming months.
This is certainly a big step for all companies involved, as well as the 3D printing industry in general. Let us know your thoughts on this amazing accomplishment in the below.