Arizona company Local Motors has discussed its aims of 3D printing vehicles within 12 hours, reinforcing extruded printed material with graphene, and offering royalties to its community members.
3Dprint.com spoke to LM’s chief strategy officer Justin Fishkin, who said significant progress had been made to its additive manufacturing technology since it unveiled its Strati vehicle (pictured) last September.
The Strati’s body was printed in 44 hours, assembled and driven at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago last year. It used ABS plastic reinforced with carbon fibre, and contained 40 printed parts.
Local Motors announced plans in January this year to open two “microfactories” in the US, and plans 50 such factories worldwide over the next five years.
Fishkin said that the first model Local Motors would offer for sale, over its first few months, would not be a Strati.
The plan was to eventually offer opportunities for those in its community to profit from submitting their own designs if these proved to be popular, to offer a high degree of customisability, and to provide credit incentives to return cars to have material recycled.
“Imagine walking into one of our stores, walking up to a screen, choosing one of 9 bodies, choosing one of 4 powertrains, like electric, natural gas, diesel, etc, choosing your tires and wheels, your color and pressing ‘Go’ — and having those sorts of ranges of choices, that’s what we are driving for,” he said.
The microfactories would also eventually offer customisable vehicle options to customers.
“At this point you can’t make a living just participating in our community, but we hope some day you could,” Fishkin told 3Dprint.com of the “outward facing sort of gamified platform” to be offered.
He also said the company was looking to reduce the print time to 12 hours, with a four to five-hour assembly time, and had been speaking to a Korean firm about sourcing graphene for extruding in composite 3D printing materials.
To read the interview, click here.