This is Local Motors 3D printed car: It could change everything

3D printing may be mainstream enough not to raise an eyebrow any more, but Local Motors’ plan to print cars is still ambitiously unusual. The Phoenix, AZ

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While automakers have relied on 3D printing for prototyping purposes before now, Local Motors aims to be the first company to deliver a full car, on the road, using the system. According to Elle Shelley, chief marketing officer, there’s more than just cashing in on a topical technology to the firm’s decision.  In fact, the LM3D will be safer than other vehicles, Shelley explained to me at the Las Vegas show, because its production process allows Local Motors to design in crumple and deformation zones. Effectively, the whole frame can be a complex roll-cage.  The LM3D should be more ecologically-sound than rivals, too. The 3D printing process means less wastage, and the print material itself is designed to be completely recyclable.  Then there’s the flexibility. The current prototype is an open-top bubble of a car, part moon buggy and part dune racer, but Local Motors envisages offering a broad spectrum of customization on top of the core design.  Exactly how that will be delivered is unclear at this stage – translating the ideas of eager but untrained customers into something structurally sound might be tricky – but the final goal is an “n of one” as Shelley puts it, each car being effectively unique

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Technology focus

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