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The 3D Printed Car Competition, Design, Build, & Drive Your Own Car

The 3D Printed Car Competition, Design, Build, & Drive Your Own Car

by Stephen BrownJune 18, 2014


Strati wins 3D printed car challenge

'Strati' - The winner of the Local Motors 3D challenge (Image: Local Motors)

‘Strati’ – The winner of the Local Motors 3D challenge (Image: Local Motors)

Back in April, the 3D printed Car Design Challenge ran by  automotive firm Local Motors, was established with the aim of bringing together concepts and designs that could help  jump start the 3D printed car industry.

“There are three major challenges facing the auto industry today: part count, weight, and the initial cost of tooling when creating and iterating on vehicles,” says Jay Rogers, Local Motors CEO. “The hybrid Direct Digital Manufacturing process stands to address all three of these. When these hurdles are removed, we open the door to an exciting new era in automotive design and manufacturing possibilities.”

It is the advent of 3D printing that will drive this new era in automotive manufacturing. With the possibility of conceiving, designing, and finally producing a vehicle completely within a digital environment, vehicles should not only be faster and easier to produce from concept to showroom, but with less waste, 3D car printing is  a true revolution in vehicle manufacturing for the 21st Century.

*Here are the top seven finalists in the Local Motor’s 3D Printed Car Design Challenge:



A simple and clean design incorporating a foldaway roof and simple, molded-in seats, Strati is designed with an integral roll bar, projector headlights, and a modular cabin.


Strati elements (Image: Local Motors)

Runners up

Six other concepts whose innovative features may also be integrated into the ultimate prototype were chosen for their originality and innovation. Each of the designers of these vehicles will also receive a $1,000 runners-up award from Local Motors for their efforts.


ISF from above (Image: Local Motors)

Amongst the runners-up, the concept ISF (Internal Strut Frame) – selected as community favorite by members of Local Motors’ global community – uses vertical interior struts to support the outer-most surfaces, to save weight whilst providing a rigid structure.


Aeroblade 3/4 front (Image: Local Motors)

Like the Internal Strut Frame concept, Aeroblade also uses structures held vertically to support outer surfaces. This multi-layered design helps overcome 3D printing’s difficulty in bridging horizontal gaps, which – in something the size of a car – is quite a challenge.


3DPCX 3/4 front (Image: Local Motors)

Another selected design, the 3DPCX has a span like a bridge support down the center, and along with sweeping structural supports, the 3DPCX is an open and airy vehicle reminiscent of an Ariel Atom.


Supernova 3/4 front (Image: Local Motors)

The Supernova incorporates angular design elements as part of the overall structure of the design, that are also reflected on the interior making it look functional and lightweight.


Mirage design elements (Image: Local Motors)

Taking out an innovation award for incorporating layers to create 3D printed crumple zones, the Mirage demonstrated a unique take by also including manufacturing and safety factors into its design. “(The Mirage) … is a great looking car, offering some solid suggestions for what can be achieved with additive manufacturing,” says Rick Neff, Manager, Market Development for Cincinnati Incorporated.


e-spider left side (Image: Local Motors)

Rounding out the finalists is the e-spider. Looking like a cross between a dune buggy, a smart car, and a Lotus Elise, the e-Spider has an innovative roof design with integral body support structures to also allow it to double as a convertible.

Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists.

The International Manufacturing Technology Show will be on September 8 – 13, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. A short video on the competition can be seen below.


 Watch How They Did It Below



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About The Author
Stephen Brown
Stephen Brown @SteveBTech is a Technology Entrepreneur, & Int'l CES Judge. Along with being the founder of DigiLyfe, and, he is the founder of, & an organization that teaches K-12 Students Science & Technology.

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