This summer, Local Motors, the startup behind the Strati 3D printed car, announced its second model of printed auto to lead the firm’s first fleet of cars to hit roads next year. In addition to the unveiling of this Redacted Reloaded model, Local Motors began forming partnerships with US universities to research and implement car 3D printing on their campuses. For instance, as a part of this Local Motors Co-Created (LOCO) vehicles program, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas is beginning work on autonomous cars. Today, LM elaborated on their program with Arizona State University to explore advanced materials research.
As an Arizona-based company, Local Motors is conveniently located near ASU, allowing them to easily join the school’s Polytechnic eProjects program, which connects students and faculty in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering with high-tech firms. Now, starting at the 2015 Polytechnic School eProject Forum on August 31, ASU students and faculty will be introduced to Local Motors in order to begin their work on R&D for the first fleet of road-ready, 3D printed cars.
The entire LOCO program is an exciting one for these university students. Though there have been some endeavors to 3D print cars, LM will be the first truly 3D printed car company, giving ASU (and other partner universities), not just seats on the ground floor, but actual input into the fabrication of the first fleet of 3D printed cars. Together, the Local Motors-ASU teams will design, simulate, and manufacture test structures and systems to improve the interlayer strength of 3D printed car parts.
CEO and co-founder of Local Motors, John B. Rogers Jr., said of the partnership, “The materials research and testing we’re conducting with ASU will help us bring to market the world’s first 3D-printed car. Our goal is to create vehicles that are safer than any on the road today, and this partnership with a world-class university right in our own backyard will help us do exactly that.” Dr. John M. Parsey Jr., who will be overseeing the program and is Professor of Practice and Director of eProjects at ASU’s Polytechnic School, adds “This is an exciting and innovative project for our students to be working on, and it will give them the opportunity to learn at the cutting-edge of engineering and put their creative minds to work on a real-world challenge. It fits perfectly within our eProjects program, which gives students outstanding workplace experience while they are at the university.”
The ASU students will get their first glimpse of the Local Motors auto donated to the school at the eProject Forum, taking place on August 31 at 3 p.m., where students pick their eProject and four to eight join together to form an interdisciplinary team. Their projects are then revealed in the Spring at the public Innovation Showcase. Until then, those students who work on LOCO at ASU will have access to the firm’s BAAM 3D printer in Tempe, used to create Local Motors’ fleet of 3D printed cars.