There was a competition of “3D Printed Car Design Challenge” , organized by the people of Local Motors in June. The first prize went to Strati ,a design can be created on a 3D printer and just demand a total of 40 pieces, making it the first of its kind.
Even if you had all the parts and components needed, how long do you think it would take to assemble a car ? Obviously there are automated processes that dramatically reduce the intervals between each vehicle, but imagine a personal project. Weeks? Months? What about space? Is it enough with a simple garage? Time and money are critical to any initiative of this scale. Now, if we win one and reduce dependence on the other, well … you’d think we’re trying to do magic. I admit that 3D printing is not magic, but I think we all agree that it’s pretty close. Not only we have seen it saving lives , but it is also changing the process of building .
On more than one occasion has accused the auto industry to be “tight”, but I’m not sure how much resistance may have before the advance of 3D printing . Only just look at Strati , the winning project 3D Printed Car Design Challenge to Local Motors organized in early June. Three months later, which was a concept on a computer screen is slowly transforming into a functional car, thanks to the IMTS convention that took place in Chicago.
The total number of pieces that shape this vehicle amounts to 40. As you can imagine, there are certain elements that are outside the scope of a 3D printer , such as the engine,wiring, battery and suspension. Still, that does not change the fact that this is a “hinge moment” in the automotive industry. The base material is made of ABS plastic reinforced with carbon fiber , advanced enough to ensure structural integrity. I hop nothing strange happens during the printing process and the video with Strati running is broadcast around the globe at the speed that only the Web can reach.