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Business, STEM

New 3-D Car To Be Road Ready by 2016

Reload Redacted - Swim and Sport - the winning design of Project [REDACTED]. Designed by Kevin Lo

Reload Redacted – Swim and Sport – the winning design of Project [REDACTED]. Designed by Kevin Lo

On July 7, 2015, A Phoenix, AZ auto manufacturer announced the winning design of a 3-D printed car that will be road ready by 2016.  If you didn’t know that an auto manufacturer is located in Arizona, neither did I.

The first 3-D car was unveiled in China in 2013 that was able to reach speeds of up to 25 mph.  Local Motors, the manufacturer, is a technology company that designs, builds, and sells vehicles. From bytes-to-bits, the Local Motors platform combines global co-creation with local micro-manufacturing to bring hardware innovations, like the world’s first 3-D printed car, to market at unprecedented speed.

“The idea is that you could basically build the car, on demand, so you don’t have all the inventory of parts,” says Kevin Lo, designer of the new 3-D car. “You can basically digitally create it so it goes from digital to manufacture-printed.”

The exterior body, the chassis, and anything currently made of plastic in a car can be manufactured on a 3-D printer. Lo’s design will be electric powered, reaching distances of around 100 miles on a charge, according to Local Motors CEO, Jay Rogers.

Having models available in 3-D printing, according to Lo, would mean that the car you see on the showroom floor would be completely customization to the buyer, increasing the number of options and safety features in future cars.

This announcement introduces a game changer in the auto industry and the U.S. and global vehicle markets. The ability to build a car from scratch, customize the design details and features, and significantly reduce the number of parts or inventory are all appealing to me. However, I haven’t been able to find data on how these vehicles hold up on crash test and general wear and tear.

We’re sure to hear more about the proposed vehicle in the near future. More information about this car and other products can be found on the Local Motors website: www.localmotors.com


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About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.

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