Local Motors showcases its first 3D-printed car design

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American auto manufacturer Local Motors on Tuesday took the wraps off its transformable 3D-printed electric car which the company intends to sell next year.

The winning design for Local Motors’ 3D-printed vehicle called the ‘Reload Redacted – Swim and Sport’ design was selected by the company’s crowdsourcing community from among a total of 60 entries. The winning design for the vehicle was a submission by Kevin Lo, an engineer living in Vancouver, Wash. Kevin’s design envisions a fully transformable sports car incorporating designs from a track day machine and a beach buggy. Lo was awarded an amount of $7,500 for the winning design. He is also entitled to receive royalties from the sale of the car.

Built around a skateboard-style chassis that houses the car’s motor, batteries, suspension, and steering components, the 3D-printed car features external speakers for the audio system, and removable front, rear and roof panels, which allow it to be switched between beach buggy and road car styles.

Scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of next year, Local Motors’ 3D-printed vehicle will initially be sold as a low speed neighborhood vehicle, with a price tag between $18,000 and $30,000. A full speed vehicle is set to follow, the company said.

“At Local Motors, we are hellbent on revolutionizing manufacturing,” said John B. Rogers, Jr., CEO and co-founder of Local Motors.

“Car manufacturers have been stamping parts the same way for more than 100 years. We now have the technology to make the process and products better and faster by linking the online to the offline through DDM. This process will create better and safer products, and we are doing exactly that.”

Local Motors has been working with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory on 3D printing. The company publicly demonstrated its concept at the Detroit Auto Show way back in January, printing out an entire body on the floor of the Cobo Hall convention center.

The Arizona-based company also announced partnerships with three universities, including Arizona State University, the University of Michigan (U of M) and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) to work on advancing technologies for future vehicles, including developing self-driving vehicles.