3D Printing

Will 3D Printing an Entire EV in 5 Days Disrupt the Automotive Industry?

Local Motors is a company we’ve covered quite a bit on 3DPI. That is because, more than others, it embodies the spirit of the local car and car parts manufacturing envisioned by the automotive industry through the use of 3D printing.

They help you design your custom car part and then help you to get it 3D printed, but this time they are taking it one step further: they intend to build an entire EV from scratch using advanced 3D printing technology. As Green.autoblog.com reports (and we love that they report on this because it means that they are aware of the green potential of delocalized car manufacturing) building a car from a pre-manufactured kit can take anywhere from an hour to a week. Building from scratch, by 3D printing each component, will take about five days, apparently.

The zero-to-full-car assembly will take place at the upcoming International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, next September 8th through to the 13th. Local Motors says it will create the “direct digital manufactured vehicle”, basing it on the designs contributed by its global community in a splendid execution of the “create globally, produce locally” mantra of 3D printing.

This time the 3D printing technologies will be supplied by the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory but the idea is to work out most of the issues and then export this potentially disruptive business model by adapting it to local conditions.

Forget about buying the car directly from the company and bypassing the retailer: here we are talking about bypassing the entire production chain and making the car yourself in your backyard. I hate to get into local political issues, but I can’t help but wonder what New Jersey politicians, who just made it illegal for Elon Musk to sell his EV’s through Tesla shops, will have to say about that.