We've heard of EV kit cars that can take a week (or an hour) to build, but how long do you think it would take to build an EV from scratch, using this new-fangled 3D-printing technology? If the technology from Local Motors works as advertised, it should take no more than the five days. The public will get to see for ourselves during this year's International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, IL in September. Two years ago, at the 2012 International Manufacturing Technology Show, Local Motors built its Rally Fighter (pictured) on the grounds during the six-day event.

So runs the plan, anyway, and Local Motors says it will create the "direct digital manufactured vehicle" based on the plans created by the company's "global community." Some of the advanced manufacturing techniques came from the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and once any kinks have been worked out, the plans could be fairly easily adapted to make EVs that work exactly right for local conditions.

The people involved are not afraid to hype up the possibilities of a 3D-printed. Or even overhype them. Bonnie Gurney, the director of communications for AMT, said in a prepared statement that, "Local Motors is undeniably the first disruptive entrant into the US automotive industry in decades." Tesla fans would likely disagree, but the idea of a 3D-printed car would certainly be something fresh and interesting. Scroll down for a press release.
Show full PR text
Local Motors Signs Contract to Deliver First 3D-Printed Electric Vehicle at IMTS 2014

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Local Motors, Inc. today announced that AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology will be the first customer for its previously announced 3D-printed production vehicle. Local Motors will build and deliver the first direct digital manufactured vehicle at IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 in Chicago, Illinois, September 8-13, 2014. Designed by the company's global community and built using the material science and advanced manufacturing techniques available at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Local Motors will produce an electric vehicle purpose-built for the urban transportation needs of Chicago.

IMTS, the largest and longest running manufacturing technology trade show in the United States, is held every two years at the McCormick Place Exhibition Center in Chicago. At IMTS 2012, Local Motors built their flagship Rally Fighter from the ground up in 5 days over the course of the 6-day show. This year, AMT and Local Motors have partnered to demonstrate how sustainable green technologies, utilizing advanced manufacturing techniques that are both additive and subtractive, can deliver stronger, safer, faster, more efficient vehicles.

"IMTS is the perfect venue on which to showcase the next evolution of Local Motors' World of Vehicle Innovations," said Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers. "To deliver the first co-created, locally relevant, 3D-printed vehicle on an international stage dedicated to celebrating cutting-edge manufacturing technology is powerful reinforcement of our commitment to driving the Third Industrial Revolution."

"Local Motors is undeniably the first disruptive entrant into the U.S. automotive industry in decades," said Bonnie Gurney, Director - Communications for AMT. "The innovations they are driving in the design, manufacture and sale of vehicles has been empowering individual innovators since 2007. Partnering with them to deliver safer, more functional, lightweight and efficient vehicles via new, innovative manufacturing technologies is core to our commitment to bring global technology advancements to the local level."

The finished vehicle will be used as an example of how sustainable green technologies can reduce life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions, lower production cost, and create new products and opportunities for high paying jobs.

About Local Motors, Inc.

Local Motors co-creates vehicles and related components with a global community of designers, engineers, fabricators and enthusiasts. Local Motors has pioneered the online design and hardware co-creation market by making available low-cost professional tools, efficient small-scale manufacturing capabilities, and go-to-market strategies that empower hobbyist innovators and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) alike. Visit localmotors.com today to design, engineer and purchase your next vehicle innovation.

About AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology

Founded in 1902 as the National Machine Tool Builders' Association, AMT supports and promotes the U.S. manufacturing technology industry. The association provides U.S. builders of manufacturing systems with the latest information on technical developments, trade and marketing opportunities, and economic issues. It also gathers and disseminates information about world markets, promotes its members' products in those markets, and acts as a representative on manufacturing technology matters to governments and trade organizations throughout the world.AMTonline.org.

About IMTS – International Manufacturing Technology Show

The largest and longest running manufacturing technology trade show in the United States is held every other year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. IMTS 2014 will run September 8-13. IMTS is ranked among the largest trade shows in the world. Recognized as one of the world's preeminent stages for introducing and selling manufacturing equipment and technology, IMTS attracts more than 100,000 visitors from every level of industry and more than 112 countries. IMTS is owned and managed by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. IMTS.com


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  • 26 Comments
      xxricefarmerxx
      • 11 Months Ago
      make it cheap enough for normal folks.. or else this isn't going to work, the whole point of 3d tech coming out is that its inexpensive...
        Joeviocoe
        • 11 Months Ago
        @xxricefarmerxx
        Yep... although the press release says, "The finished vehicle will be used as an example of how sustainable green technologies can reduce life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions, lower production cost, ..." ... The only current example of a vehicle is the Rally Fighter which is sold for about $100,000.... and the buyer has to fly down, and essentially do all the labor at their micro factory in Arizona.
          Joeviocoe
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          That is why I said, " essentially do all the labor ". Yes, there will be a "Builder Trainer" there to assist. So for the heavy lifting, I am sure there will be help. But the yes, the labor is done by the buyer. Bringing a friend is encouraged.
          Joeviocoe
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          So how much does it cost if I don't want to travel to Arizona at all? I remember inquiring several years back, it costs $75,000 back then, now $100,000. If the process if very different than how I am stating, you should probably update your rally car website with the new information. http://localmotors.com/rallyfighter/buy-a-rally-fighter/
          Nick Ricci
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Lol I work there... I built the car in the default picture at the top of the page at the IMTS show. I can assure you, your idea of the process isn't quite correct.
          Nick Ricci
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          The customer has to do all the labor? That's a massive over statement.
          Marco Polo
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @ Nick Ricci Nick, thank you for commenting. It's always great to hear from people who actually work in these Hi Tech situations. I hope to visit Arizona in late August, and would be fascinated to learn more about this promising new process.
          Joeviocoe
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Don't get me wrong, I love your product, and I love your process. Which is why I inquired about it. But this article is suggesting something radically different from what you have been doing for years. And we really should NOT be encouraging hype. Hype, without delivery, has had a bad history in the EV world.
      sstowes
      • 11 Months Ago
      I was watching "Machete Kills" a few weeks ago and a Local Motors vehicle was used. Thought it was pretty cool (terrible movie though).
      SublimeKnight
      • 11 Months Ago
      PC Load Fender? What the **** does that mean!?!
      Rotation
      • 11 Months Ago
      Company will 3D print cosmetic parts for a car live in Chicago, bolt them onto already made EV drivetrain.
        Joeviocoe
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        Hmm... very different than "disruptive" to the automotive industry.
      FREEPAT75014
      • 11 Months Ago
      Beautifull ! Sounds like the next BMW X6 revamping... I love it !
      Marco Polo
      • 11 Months Ago
      Like it or not, 3D manufacturing will have a huge impact on future production. Ideally it will remove a lot of the need for shipping, and huge factories with lots of labour.
      Nick Ricci
      • 11 Months Ago
      So cool.
      Joeviocoe
      • 11 Months Ago
      I love the rally fighter... but Local Motors unique business plan of 'made to order' kit cars has been around for a long while... and they have yet to 'disrupt' anything.
        Nick Allain
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        The disruption is in terms of design and engineering. They crowdsource most of it so they don't need a huge team of designers and engineers.
          Joeviocoe
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Nick Allain
          True, volume doesn't equal impact. But I would think the main players would at least need to know their name. I don't think they know of their existence. So, it is a far cry from the claim of disruptive. I checked them out about 3 years ago. "Yes. As of July 2011, we have 22 Rally Fighters living across the USA and one in Kazakhstan. " So where did you hear " 60 ish"? Nice to see they've tripled their total sales, but they must be doing about 12 per year. They originally claimed to be making 2,000 rally fighters... so I am not sure I will take them seriously as of yet. Nice car, nice concept though.
          Nick Ricci
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Nick Allain
          Its more like 60 ish and thats in the last 3 or so years. But you don't have to have volume to have impact.
          Joeviocoe
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Nick Allain
          Right... certainly unique, innovative, creative, and awesome. But "disruptive"? Never made an impact. They haven't even sold all that many. I think they are still at ~ dozen over the last 10 years.
      Bonzirunner
      • 11 Months Ago
      Additive manufacturing is by no means on par with traditional castings and CNC machining. Unlike conventional castings the deposition process used by 3D printers doesn't allow a heating and cooling gradient that gives the molecular structure time to orient to one another. This means that part that is cast is stronger than a part that is printed given the exact same material. Speaking of materials, one can CNC machine damn near any material. Whereas in a 3D printer there are only a few materials suitable for that process. However with literally billions invested its a technology that may someday be reality.
      Electron
      • 11 Months Ago
      I will consider this "disruptive" once I see them printing the batteries, electronics and motor. It's like the hoopla about printing guns. Not really that "disruptive" unless they find a way to print the ammo too.
        SublimeKnight
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Electron
        The components you mentioned are at least $20k alone. You're not going to be printing the chassis, motor mount, seat belts, steering rack, brakes, etc, etc. When you look at a kit car, the parts you're looking to print might not even add up to the cost of the printer. It'll be cheap to print replacement parts, which is a nice feature on a car like this, but I'm thinking the whole thing is still going to run well over $80k.
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