Local Motors, the Arizona-based company that presented the first 3D printed electric car last year has announced the next generation of 3D printed cars, codenamed Reloaded-Redacted
The Temple based company became internationally famous last year when it presented the Strati model at CES 2014, which was made from carbon fiber reinforced ABS plastic. The super-light rigid chassis consisted of less than 50 parts and costed around $18.000 – $30.000.
The pioneering car was the first ever chance to order a truly tailored car (specifically colored parts etc.). But, moving at low speeds, it was only suitable for city environments.
Local Motors promised an upgraded version by the end of 2016. It should be able to hit the highways and while not available for the consumer market just yet, the first designs have seen the light. No information about the maximum range was revealed yet. So aspiring buyers may have to hold their horses for the moment.
The company followed the same approach designing the car as they did with the Strati. They held an online contest to motivate a large number of engineers and hobbyists to submit their innovative designs.
The winner of the contest was Mr. Kevin Lo who works for Hewlett-Packard. The new car design is significantly larger (4-seat) compared to the previous model (2-seat). It was chosen among 60 other designs and, according to the jury, combines good compactness and “sporty” looks.
This makes it possible for Local Motors to use as little parts as possible to derive with a chassis that boasts good stiffness. The most significant difference though is the fact that the new design will allow even more customization, allowing users to choose elements like a removable soft top, a “swim buggy” floor, and other removable body panels.
Whatever the case, Local Motors is proving that is capable to develop new and improved versions of the Strati. As 3D printing manufacturing is freeing the company from limiting long-year production cycles that are required by traditional manufacturing methods. No price or other technical details were revealed for the new Local Motors model, so stay tuned for more exciting news from this front.
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