If you've been keeping up with the world of 3-D printing, then you know how much the whole thing has really taken off in the last year. With everything from replacement stroller parts to human organs, it's just a matter of "what will they think of next?"
And now another milestone has been reached with the advent of the first 3-D-printable car. The Arizona-based company Local Motors has created the very first car designed for 3-D called the Strati. And this is no boxy, boring car either, it's actually pretty stylish.
The time needed to create the high tech auto is really impressive - the car was built in just 44 hours! The company built it as a demonstration during the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.
This kind of work is nothing new for Local Motors. The company has been producing 3-D printed skateboards, motorcycles and other vehicles since 2007.
But, the car is the one that could really offer a lot of value to consumers. When it starts selling vehicles in a few months, they will be pretty affordable. Local Motors plans to offer models between $18,000 and $30,000.
One of the reasons the car is so affordable is it's made of just 40 parts. That's really impressive when you consider that the average vehicle is constructed from tens of thousands.
The bulk of the vehicle will be 3-D printed in one piece, but a few other pieces aren't made in the printer.
The chassis and the body of the car are printed using a giant 3-D printer but the tires, seats, wheels, battery, wiring, suspension, electric motor and window shield were made using conventional methods.
It's made using an enormous 3-D printer from Cincinnati Inc. The big machine can make parts as big as 3 feet by 5 feet by 10 feet.
The electric car will have a top speed of 40 miles per hour and a battery range of 120 to 150 miles. The speed isn't anything to brag about by traditional standards, but this isn't a traditional car. And, this is just the first one. I can't wait to see what kind of cars we see when other companies get in on the game and start making 3-D printed cars of their own.