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3D Printing 101—How to Make a Car: Local Motors Gives Us a Sneak Peek

by • March 28, 2016 • No Comments

5637c4a2bea45f877ea1fe7b_lm-swim-side-right“There is nothing conventional of this car, the way it’s created, or the company behind it.”

For a while there it sounded as if we were going to 3D print all things a few day. What’s changed in these times? Eventually has become reality for most products, startning with a few somewhat big ticket items that we may have never imagined possible—of real estate to body parts. And alyet we may hear a lot of talk of 3D printed cars, up until now they’ve been a pretty far-fetched yett for the normal driver.

Numerous concepts and projects have appeared on the scene with quite serious talk—like plans surrounding the Urbee 2, for example, but yet with a few gray area regarding production and funding. The Strati, yet, has most likely stuck in your mind if you have been following the subject of 3D printed cars. Printed preceding an audience in just six days, most were clamoring to find out additional and wondering when it may become on the market. Local Motors had a fewthing various in mind for the general public yet, and last year after a few evolution in the precise plan, it was revealed that indeed they may originate with pre-sales for the LM3D Swim.

The LM3D, set with a targeted MSRP of $53,000, has been set for a commence in the 2nd quarter of this year, with pre-sales startning and so, and the possibility of retail sales later in the year. The fact that there is a real car with a real plan pretty sets Local Motors apart. And not just that—there’s a real producing system in place, as the team shared with us not long ago. And like the real pros, they manufacture it appear awfully effortless.

UntitledIn ‘3D Printing 101: How to Print a Car,’ the team shows us precisely what it takes to 3D print a car, with the new Local Motors version being created of 75 percent fabricated parts—and a few day this can be up to 90 percent, according to the company. Each part starts as a typical .stl file that is manipulated and perfected preceding it goes to print. Tony Rivera, a mechanical engineer for Local Motors handles creating items like the main assembly in digital form, and and so sending it to the print operations department.

“Once we get a file of the engineering department, it comes as an .stl file and we have to run it through slicer software where it breaks it down into individual layers that the printing device can read,” says Michael Lachenauer, printing device operator.

“We have to take that file and get it transferred over to the BAAM 3D printing device, and of there we can start the print.”

UntitledBAAM is short for Big Area Additive Manufacturing, that is the 3D printing device Local Motors uses to create their vehicles—and it’s appropriately named. This is, of course, a seriously industrial machine that is producing a few quite sizeable and significant parts. Once files of the PC printing devices are transferred there, the team is in business and eager to start producing parts.

The material utilized to 3D print the vehicles is created of pellets created up of a blend that is 80 percent ABS and 20 percent carbon fiber. The extruder prints at a temperature of 410° F. Parts are printed quite rapidly, as you can see in the video at a lower place, with the main assembly accomplished in just five hours.

Local Motors is already working with a number of other companies as they work to start offering these cars to the public. An Indiegogo campaign is impending, purportedly, and can allow consumers to start bringing advantage of pre-sales. As the company works to take the car to market, they are collaborating with:

IBM – to integrate IoT innovation into the 3D-printed car through IBM WatsonSiemens’ Solid Edge – to provide CAD versioningIDEO – to renew Local Motors LabsSABIC – to improve materials

UntitledThe cars can be highly customizable, and Local Motors states they can have numerous aesthetics that are just possible via 3D printing. Whilst underpinnings can be the same for every vehicle, most may appear ‘radically various’ overall, according to the company. Safety is of course a major concern, and they are continuing testing throughout this year, with the expectations that the LM3D series may quite probably be safer than traditionally manufactured vehicles. Indeed, history is being created—and how fun it can be to appear to your left in traffic and see one of these ‘vehicles of the future’ following to you at a stoplight quite soon. Today, Local Motors engineers and designers are working around the clock to see that take place. Do you ponder you can be interested in one of the LM3Ds? Discuss in the 3D Printed Car forum over at 3DPB.com.