Now you can 3D print your own (mini) car

Earlier this month, the crew over at Local Motors made history by successfully building (and driving) the world’s first 3D-printed car all within a 44-hour window at the International Manufacturing Technology Show. The highly-popular vehicle even made its way to the World Maker Faire, where AVR Man himself had the chance to scope out the new set of wheels.

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The technology behind the Strati was pioneered at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The vehicle was produced all in one piece using direct digital manufacturing (DDM); however, the mechanical components such as batteries, motor and wiring were still needed from third party sources.

In total, it took 44 hours to print the drivable project’s 49 parts from the massive 3D printer. During the IMT show, the Local Motors team assembled the printed pieces, dropped in the engine and bolted on wheels, tires, seats, windshield, and interior. (For those wondering, your average car consists of anywhere between 5,000 to 6,000 parts.)

Local Motors is hoping the Strati will continue to demonstrate the viability of using sustainable, digital manufacturing solutions in the automotive industry, and plans to launch production-level 3D-printed cars that will be available to the general public for purchase in the forthcoming months.

Until then, the company has unveiled the next best thing. In true open source fashion, Local Motors has released the downloadable file so that any Maker can now print an accurate 1:10 scale model of the Strati in the comfort of their own home — wheels, steering shaft, suspension, pedal box and all.

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Local Motors has requested that those who 3D print the miniature Strati model share an image of the final product with them.

 

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