Everywhere we look, 3D printing is becoming more and more popular. On Tuesday, we wrote a blog about Miss Georgia’s 3D printed shoes for the Miss America pageant.
Well, it’s no surprise that 3D printing has been put to use again. This time, these inventors’ wheels were turning when they decided to create a 3D-printed car! Yes, you read that right, a fully-functional, 3D-printed motor vehicle!
The Strati is the world’s first 3D-printed car and was invented by Jay Rogers, who is the CEO of Local Motors.
The Strati is a small, electric car that is equipped with two seats and is comprised of 49 3D-printed parts, as opposed to the 5-6,000 parts that are in most cars.
The largest of the 49 parts of the Strati is the 3D-printed body, in addition to the traditional parts such as the windshield, seats, wheels and motor.
Three phases went into constructing the Strati, which in Italian means “Layers.” We find that to be a very fitting name for the construction of this invention.
In phase one, the 3D printing of the car took place due in part to a Cincinnati Incorporated Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM). This step in the process took over 44 hours and used cutting-edge technology otherwise known as additive manufacturing.
The second phase, subtractive manufacturing, took place during one day of milling on a machine that was provided by Thermwood. Once that was complete, the third and final step was the rapid assembly phase. During this phase, a team that was led by Local Motors put the final touches on their 3D-printed car.
Local Motors wasn’t the only company that had a hand in making this 3D idea into a reality. In fact, there were quite a few companies that offered their skill and expertise to invent the first 3D-printed car. For example, SABIC Innovative Plastics offered carbon-reinforced ABS plastic that was used to 3D print some of the first iterations of the Strati. Additionally, Siemens provided the “Solid Edge” software that was used for the structural design elements, while Renault donated the powertrain from the Twizy. But, a car can’t move without wheels and those four integral parts were built by Fifteen52 to match the car’s design.
After all of these phases were complete, the key was put in the ignition and the car took a ride down the road of innovation.
Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Strati!
Copyright Inventionland, 2014