3D printer + internet = 3D printed sports e-car

10 Nov 2014

Image of Local Motor's Strati car via YouTube

With a 3D printer and 44 hours to spare, you can now print your own Strati electric car, thanks to open-source spec soon to be put online by its manufacturer, Local Motors.

In a move that is surely to leave egg on the face of the creators of the anti-piracy ads from the early-2000s claiming ‘you wouldn’t download a car’, the company showed off their dinky little two-seater car at this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas.

The news comes after the company asked for design entries last June for the prospective sports car with Italian car designer, Michele Anoè, chosen as the overall winner.

Due to be available entirely free on the company’s website, the only requirement for the prospective owner is to have a 3D printer large enough to be able to process a car’s worth of material.

However, for enthusiasts without the resources, Local Motors will also offer a model sized car, at a scale of 1: 10.

Taking just under two days to print, the car’s printing process uses a material that is 80pc ABS plastic and 20pc carbon fibre, the latter of which is commonly used in sports cars for its low weight, and is layered 212 times to create the basic chassis.

For those who fear the costs of owning a 3D printer of this scale, you can simply pay up the cash to own a pre-made model which can range from anywhere between US$18,000 and US$30,000 depending on different specifications.

Despite its sporty appearance, the Strati is by no means a high-speed car with a top speed of 80km/h and a range of just under 100km.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic