A nearly-completely 3D printed car has had its first drive at the weekend after being created on site at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.
The car was designed by Local Motors and printed using a Big Area Additive Manufacturing Machine (BAAM), made by Cincinnati Inc. in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“You could think of it like Ikea, mashed up with Build-A-Bear, mashed up with Formula One,” Jay Rogers from Local Motors told WGNTV of Chicago.
The material used was ABS plastic reinforced with carbon fibre, and the Strati (Italian for “layers”) electric vehicle weighed 680 km, can reach a top speed of 65 km per hour and possesses a range of 190 km for a single charge.
The BAAM is able to print at a rate of 40 pounds per hour, with the Strati printed and constructed in six days. A previously additively manufactured car, the Urbee 2 by Jim Kor, took 2,500 “print hours”, notes 3dprint.com
There are 40 3D printed parts in the Strati. “Mechanical components, like battery, motor, wiring, and suspension are sourced from a variety of suppliers, including Renault’s Twizy, a line of electric powered city cars,” explained a statement from IMTS.
According to Rogers, manufacturing of the vehicle for the public could begin, with an initial retail price of $US 18,000 to over $US 30,000.