Local Motors and US Department of Energy Sign Deal to Produce First 3D Printed Vehicle

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If you were to think about all the crazy things a 3D printer may one day be able to print, one of the craziest ideas is a 3D printed car. Well, we might just get that sooner than you may think. Today Local Motors Inc. announced that they have formed a groundbreaking new partnership with the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Togther the teams will work on producing the world’s first 3D printed vehicle.

rallyfighterIn the months to follow, Local Motors and ORNL will work to explore how to make efficient vehicles that are developed from 3D printed parts. Jay Rogers, CEO and Founder of Local Motors Inc said,

By invoking the principle of open-source, this partnership – and future efforts like it – will drive a true paradigm shift in hardware product development and automotive manufacturing technologies. Just as exciting as the vision of delivering the first direct digital manufactured car, is that we will be engaging future consumers to contribute and evangelize its creation. We are living in a time when speed to market trumps slow-going protectionism. Local Motors’ open development platform is what delivers this very speed.

The ORNL is known for their additive manufacturing facilities and research, and strive to find greener, more efficient methods of manufacturing.

This partnership will help push the envelope on emerging technologies, such as large scale additive manufacturing, and help accelerate the growth of manufacturing in the United States, said Dr. Lonnie Love from ORNL’s ab’s Energy & Transportation Science Division

Local Motors is an open source vehicle design company which gained notoriety from their printing of vehicle parts,  particularly mirror mods for their “Rally Fighter” race car back in May of last year. They were founded in Boston, but now have microfactories in Chandler AZ, and Las Vegas, NV, with plans for up to 100 more microfactories in the coming decade.  Just what the plans are, have not be released and we apologize for the lack of details.

There are still major strides to be made, and likely years of work ahead before a consumer geared vehicle could have a majority of it’s parts printed.  Having said this, late last year an engineer by the name of Jim Kor made significant strides in printing out the Urbee 2 vehicle.

Discuss these developments here: http://3dprintboard.com/showthread.php?1528-Local-Motors-US-Dep-Of-Energy-Working-together-to-3D-Print-out-Vehicle

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