This September, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show, an entire car will be printed. Local Motors, the company behind the project, recently held what was the world's first 3D Printed Car Design Challenge to choose its final design. Over 200 groups entered the competition, but when the dust settled and the votes were tallied, two designs stood atop the heap.
The judge-awarded top prize went to a two-seater buggy called Strati by Michele Anoé. With a convertible canvas top, the Strati's main body can be printed as a single piece. Removable, 3D-printed seats allow you to customize the color of your interior and the car's dune buggy design is reinforced with an aluminum roll bar and carbon fiber support panels.
The challenge's other winner, which garnered the lion's share of the popular vote, is called the ISF, for Internal Strut Frame. With its open body shape, inspired by the structures found within the bones of a bird's wing, this mini sports car was a frontrunner from the start.
Though the Strati won the right to inspire September's full-scale 3D printing, we imagine that the ISF's sturdy, lightweight frame design will also find its way into the final design. The real winner here, however, is Local Motors, which has revolutionized the car prototyping process. Taking a design from its original concept to full-scale prototype, once years of work, now takes less than six months.
Via Local Motors