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World's first 3D-printed car is born in Detroit


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World's first 3D-printed car is born in Detroit

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3D printers are everywhere and can be used to recreate almost anything, from buildings to airplanes and even human organs.

So it was only a question of time before the first 3D-printed came along. That’s what happened in Detroit, where the world’s first 3-D printed car was printed live at the annual Motor Show.

The Strati, as it’s called, is a two-seater that can go up to 40 kilometres per hour and is meant for short, urban trips. It can be manufactured in just over a day.

“Right now, we’re at about 44 hours to build a vehicle by direct digital manufacturing. We hope by the end of the year to be closer to 24 hours, and then we’d hope to be able to get it down to somewhere between 10 and 12 hours total,” said Jay Rogers, CEO of Local Motors, the car’s manufacturer.

The car’s frame and panels are printed out of carbon fibre-infused plastic, on a machine that could fit in a single-car garage. Made up of more than 200 layers, it weighs some 800 kilos – that’s more than half the weight of an average car in the US.

According to its creator, it has a life expectancy of at least half a decade: “If you left it outside in the harshest of elements, you’d have probably five to six years of use. If you garage it and you use it like you would use a normal car, then it will last for much longer. And it is fully recyclable. So the good news is, while it’s in its life, if it gets cracked or hurt or other things like that, you can take the components off that are not recyclable and recycle the material, get a credit for the cost of the material, and have a new vehicle,” said Jay Rogers.

The Strati will be available this year at a cost of between 15.000 and 25.000 euros.

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