Design Engineering

Local Motors to develop and unveil 3D-printed EV at IMTS 2014

Mike McLeod   

Additive Manufacturing Automotive 3D printing Additive Manufacturing automotive design IMTS Local Motors slideshow

Collaborative designed EV to showcase cutting-edge digital manufacturing technologies.

The Rally Fighter, one of Local Motor's collaboratively designed and locally built car models.

The Rally Fighter, one of Local Motor’s collaboratively designed and locally built car models.

Taking a page from Canadian engineer Jim Kor and Kor Ecologic’s Urbee 2 electric vehicle, US-based Local Motors, Inc. announced it will deliver its first 3D-printed production vehicle at the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 in September.

The company – which crowd sources the design of niche vehicles and then sells kits of the finalized plans for local customers to build themselves – recently entered into a collaborative R&D partnership with US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) focuses on developing additive, subtractive and direct digital manufacturing techniques to lower automotive production and environmental costs.

In conjunction with MDF at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the company says it will produce an electric vehicle purpose-built for the urban transportation needs of Chicago. As yet, the engineering and design of the car are still in flux, but the project page on Local Motor’s site says the goal is to fabricate the majority of the vehicle’s structure using a hybrid of additive/subtractive technologies and fit it with an all electric powertrain.

“IMTS is the perfect venue on which to showcase the next evolution of Local Motors’ World of Vehicle Innovations,“ said Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers. “To deliver the first co-created, locally relevant, 3D-printed vehicle on an international stage dedicated to celebrating cutting-edge manufacturing technology is powerful reinforcement of our commitment to driving the Third Industrial Revolution.”



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