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The World's First 3D Printed Car

closeup of a black 3d printer (render)

The car industry just got a lot more interesting with the groundbreaking introduction of the world's first 3D printed car.

 

Local Motors, based in Phoenix, is debuting their latest interaction in 3D printed cars at the SEMA auto show in Las Vegas this year.  The LM3D Swim is going to be the first ever road legal, publicly available 3D printed car.  According to venturebeat, the company “live” printed a car at the same show last year but that was merely a test and a prototype.  Over the past year since that showing, the company's engineers have managed to do the impossible and bring the car close to being fully production ready.

 

Local Motors is partnering with technology companies such as IBM to add sophisticated and high tech features to the car to enhance its abilities both on and off the road.  The big advantage of producing a car this way, is that the company can customize almost every single aspect of the car to the owner’s specifications. The process is nearly as efficient and affordable as buying from a large carmaker.  This could eventually result in a new age of car buying where consumers are able to customize their car the same way they would their hamburger toppings.

 

According to Slashgear, the car is supposedly more environmentally friendly then most other cars. Additionally, as car buyers become more concerned about the polluting effects of a car, few recognize the power and waste that goes into a standardly produced car.  The 3D printing system is more precise, reducing waste, increasing efficiency and lowering the pollution emissions.

 

The car is expected to be entirely electric. Prospective owners may reduce the hefty purchase price with subsidies, depending on where the car is purchased and registered.

 

The LM3D is scheduled to be open for pre-orders in spring of 2016 and the cars are expected to be delivered some time in 2017.  The cars aren't much cheaper than a normal car, coming in at a respectable $53,000.  For now, the novelty of how the car was produced and perhaps some innovative gadgets aboard are all that is attracting drivers to this hot new car. As the company’s technology matures, efficiencies could bring the price down dramatically.

 

So if you are into the latest and greatest when it comes to your car of choice, you will likely be turning heads while on the cusp of the newest offerings from the car world by ordering your LM3D. It will interesting to see how this technology develops over the next decade, but one thing is for sure, we are in the middle of an exciting shift in automaker history.

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