Printed car? No, you do not misread. The car is printed with a printer and “ink”, and it will be probably available for sales soon.
Local Motors has just unveiled their first commercial 3D-printed car at the SEMA show in Las Vegas on Nov 03. By its look, the car is quiet cool! It is called LM3D Swim and the company is aiming to mass produce this cool car.
Local Motors is a startup technology company involving in designing, building and selling vehicles. Its products are the result of global co-creation and ideas combined with local micro-manufacturing, which empower the company to bring products to market at unprecedented speed. The unique selling points of Local motors is the implementation of hardware innovations.
At the SEMA show last year, Local Motors stunned everyone by live-printing the first 3D-printed car in the world. This year, they continue the work by introducing LM3D Swim – the next generation of 3D-printed car. Although carmakers like Audi already make 3D-printed replicas (for fun), Local Motors’ new 3D-printed car is expected to be the world’s first commercial 3D printed car.
The LM3D Swim comprises of 75 percent 3D-printed parts. But the company plans to increase that proportion to 90 percent in the future as the 3D printing technology development doesn’t stop where it is now.
The car’s body was designed by Keven Lo, a member of the Local Motors community. He won the design contest Project Redacted in July 2015. Local Motors hosted the challenge to identify the design for its next generation of 3D-printed car. The judging panel included Jay Leno – the former host of Tonight Show – and SEAM Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak.
The Swim uses software developed by Siemens which provides the company product development team with simply direct modeling and flexibly synchronous technology to achieve faster concept-to-car progress. The “ink” to print is from SABIC, a world leader in thermoplastic material solutions.
Local Motors is working with IBM on cutting-edge technology to integrate into all LM3D models. They want to create a new level of interactions between the micro factory, 3D-printed vehicles and the outside environment which will increase safety and efficiency of the vehicles in traffic.
The company is planning to partner with other leading companies to develop a new range of apps and vehicle accessories to “connect, monitor and optimize the driving experience”, said in Local Motors’ press release.(https://localmotors.com/blog/post/local-motors-debuts-lm3d-the-worlds-first-3d-printed-car-series/1943/)
Local Motors is now pursuing federal crash testing and highway certifications so that they can sell LM3D Swim to the public. If things go on as the company’s timeline, the factory in Knoxville, Tennessee where cars are printed will be completed by the end of 2015. Preorders expectedly begins in spring 2016 and delivery is expected in early 2017. If the car passes the tests, it will be available for sale at $53,000, enough to buy a 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. For the time being, all we can do is to wait.