Hot off the (printing) press

There are a number of claims to the world’s first 3D printed car, and the crowd-sourced firm Local Motors – based in Arizona – have firmly planted their flag in the arena.

Prepare to be excited.

Their effort is a combination of printed panels with regular underlying parts like the chassis, engine and the wheels, and took 44 hours to complete via 3D printer, with an extra day for milling and another two for assembly. It’s called the Strati, and it’s actually not half bad looking, like a combination of a go kart and a roadster. Compared to 2,000 parts for your average automobile, Local Motors say this has just 40. The bodywork, windscreen and various support structures around the car were churned out by the robot, while the powertrain (electric) was lifted from a Renault Twizy. And it’s not just for show — it actually drives too.

These are exciting times for the automotive industry, and while you won’t be sitting down at your laptop to print off a Ford anytime soon, something similar might not be completely mad in the years to come.

So, we have a definitive answer to the age old (in internet time) question — yes, we most certainly would download a car.

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