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Local Motors Strati

2014 Local Motors Strati

2014 Local Motors Strati Exterior
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Meet the Local Motors Strati, the world’s first 3D-printed car.

3D printing is one of several disruptive technologies making a foray into the automotive industry. If you didn’t know, 3D printing (alternatively called “additive manufacturing”) is a process that utilizes a computer-controlled extrusion head to accrete raw material (usually plastic) into some predetermined form. Basically, a 3D printer can turn a digitized design into a physical object.

This technology is a huge boon for car lovers. The manufacturing process, once a costly and time-intensive burden, is quickly becoming accessible to the layman. Automotive culture is still coming to grips with the sheer number of possibilities that 3D printing represents. Jay Leno, for example, uses his 3D printer to create hard-to-find replacement parts for his vast collection of vintage automobiles.

But what if you could do more than just print parts? What if you could print an entire car?

Click past the jump to read about the Local Motors Strati and 3D printing.

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Latest Local_Motors Strati news and reviews:

Local Motors Printed a Car Live in Detroit

Local Motors Printed a Car Live in Detroit

You really have to admire Local Motors’ ability to think outside the box. Without its holistic, crowd-sourced approach to automotive development we wouldn’t have cars like the bonkers trophy-truck, grand touring car mash-up 2013 Rally Fighter, or its new and exciting 213 Strati electric-powered track day car.

The Phoenix, Arizona-based company picked the Strati from over 200 lightweight sports car design concepts submitted by Local Motors’ online co-creation community. Its open-top chassis features a carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic polymer body. The electric motor is available with up to 17 horsepower and 42 pound-feet of torque and will power the rear wheels through a single-speed transmission. A regenerative braking system harvests energy under deceleration and top speed is approximately 50 mph. Not exactly Earth-shattering numbers, but the Strati is all about minimalist fun rather than setting lap records.

But, perhaps even more interesting than its performance is that Strati happens to be the world’s first 3D-printed car. Its latest iteration is being printed on the show floor of the Detroit Auto Show at COBO Center in a small version of what Local Motors call a micro-factory. Printed parts include the chassis, body and a few interior features, while more complex parts, like the suspension and motor, are added later.

This is no gimmick either. Local Motors wants to completely revamp the way the auto industry builds cars. “Since launching in 2007, we have continuously disrupted the way vehicles are designed, built, and sold,” says Local Motors CEO John B. Rogers, Jr. “We paired micro-manufacturing with co-creation to bring vehicles to market at unprecedented speed.” Local Motors says it currently takes about 44 hours to print a Strati but wants to cut that time to 24 hours.

Click past the jump to read more about Local Motors’ 3D-Printed car.

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2014 TopSpeed Year in Review

2014 TopSpeed Year in Review

2015 is almost upon us, car lovers, and TopSpeed has one last post to close out the year that was 2014! As this little blue green ball we all inhabit completes yet another revolution around that warm spot of fusing hydrogen hanging in the sky, we tend to revert back to the time-honored tradition of summarizing a few of the big events that transpired over the course of the year. It’s a crossroads, a time to bask in the glory of past wins, as well as learn from prior mistakes in a bid to avoid such blunders in the future.

In many ways, 2014 was a time of great change and rebirth, with both exciting successes and catastrophic failures laced throughout. We’ve seen the glorious return of heroes like the Dodge Challenger, plus the emergence of exciting new technology like in the Toyota Mirai. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen a glut of niche vehicles stretched thin between a variety of purposes, like the Mercedes GLE Coupe, as well as fatal corporate mistakes in a record-breaking year for automotive recalls.

Usually, we’re a glass-half-full kind of crowd, so we’re tempted to say, overall, this most recent spin around the sun yielded a net gain for the automotive world. Perhaps, but we suppose that’s still open for debate. Regardless, it’s been a mixed bag, no doubt about that. But don’t fret: we’re here to tie it up into one neat package for you.

Click past the jump to read our list of highs and lows from 2014.

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2014 Local Motors Strati

2014 Local Motors Strati

3D printing is one of several disruptive technologies making a foray into the automotive industry. If you didn’t know, 3D printing (alternatively called “additive manufacturing”) is a process that utilizes a computer-controlled extrusion head to accrete raw material (usually plastic) into some predetermined form. Basically, a 3D printer can turn a digitized design into a physical object.

This technology is a huge boon for car lovers. The manufacturing process, once a costly and time-intensive burden, is quickly becoming accessible to the layman. Automotive culture is still coming to grips with the sheer number of possibilities that 3D printing represents. Jay Leno, for example, uses his 3D printer to create hard-to-find replacement parts for his vast collection of vintage automobiles.

But what if you could do more than just print parts? What if you could print an entire car?

Click past the jump to read about the Local Motors Strati and 3D printing.

Read more