It’s only a matter of time before just about everything is the result of some form of 3D printer. Recent advances in bio-printing have me convinced that we’ll be making organs, food, and just about everything else before long. But for now, let’s talk about something less science-fiction and more practical: cars.
The first ever 3D Printed Car Design Challenge has been run and won with Strati, a design by Michele Anoé of Italy, chosen from a field of over 200 entries submitted by contestants from more than 30 countries. As well as winning a $5000 cash prize for his efforts from the organizers, Local Motors, Michele’s concept will provide the most influence for a full-size 3D prototype to be printed at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) this September in Chicago, Illinois.
Begun back in April, the 3D printed Car Design Challenge run by Arizona-based crowd-source automotive firm Local Motors was created with the aim of bringing together ideas, concepts and designs that could be shared, discussed and voted upon to assist in producing one whole 3D print car concept. The Local Motors Forge community has been involved in many other projects including the likes of the Verrado electric drift trike and the recent redux on the Harley-davidson motorcycle, but this is the first time that Local Motors has brought the community together to produce a vehicle to be printed entirely in 3D.
“There are three major challenges facing the auto industry today: part count, weight, and the initial cost of tooling when creating and iterating on vehicles,” says Jay Rogers, Local Motors CEO. “The hybrid Direct Digital Manufacturing process stands to address all three of these. When these hurdles are removed, we open the door to an exciting new era in automotive design and manufacturing possibilities.”
I’ve got to say though, from a design perspective, I was more visually drawn to the Aeroblade concept, but that’s just me.