The first 3D-printed car is scheduled to roll off its printer and onto Chicago streets Saturday as a display of the technology's potential in manufacturing.

The car, called Strati, will be printed at this weekend's International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, according to ExtremeTech.

The car will be printed on a 100-square-foot printer known as a BAAM, or Big Area Additive Manufacturing, which can lay down 40 pounds of super-strength plastic per hour. It will take just 44 hours to convert a pile of carbon-reinforced plastic to a fully built car.

Technicians from the specialty car company Local Motors will add components such as wiring, tires, steering wheel and window glass. The electric engine and drivetrain come from French car manufacturer Renault.

Could this the future of car manufacturing? ExtremeTech points out that Ford, which uses gigantic plants capable of building hundreds of thousands of cars each year, could benefit from the space-saving printers. The printers might also make it easier for customers to customize their vehicles to meet their specific needs.



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