A 3D-printed car made of a thermoplastic may be coming to your neighborhood next year, .
Arizona-based Local Motors uses a controversial car building process to construct its 3D vehicles, . They successfully built and unveiled their new vehicle, called the LM3D Swim, at the SEMA automotive trade show, one year after it built a 3D car live at the same event.
The production process involves using direct digital manufacturing (DDM) to produce fully-homologated vehicles, CEO Jay Rogers explained to the crowd at the motor vehicle aftermarket show organized by the Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA). The car is currently being tested.
“In the past few months our engineers have moved from only a rendering to the car you see in front of you today," Rogers said. "We are using the power of DDM to create new vehicles at a pace unparalleled in the auto industry, and we’re thrilled to begin taking orders on 3D-printed cars next year.”
Up close, the printing process looks like toothpaste coming out of the tube when the machine shoots out ribbons of carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastics, .
The LM3D Swim, which looks like a red dune buggy up close, is a lower-speed electric car mandated by law to not exceed 35 miles per hour.
Rogers said that the company is ready to put the car in mass production. The LM3D Swim is expected to go on sale as soon as late next year for $53,000.