Local Motors, the company and designer of the Strati 3-D printed car, unveiled their latest creation during the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. The Strati weighs 2,200 pounds, uses 50 or so 3-D printed parts (non-printed parts include steering wheel, shocks, tires, and electric motor), and can be produced in less than two days.
On one full charge, the Strati can travel 120 miles, but only reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour. While there is still a long road ahead for this manufacturing innovation, the future implications are huge. Imagine the day when you can walk into a car dealer, customize the car of your dreams, and drive it home hot off the press.
Of course, safety is the looming question for 3-D printed vehicles, and Local Motors is already working to improve the Strati’s safety, design, and durability. It’s worth considering the relationship between 3-D printed cars and self-driving cars, which earlier this year, surpassed 700,000 miles of accident-free driving. The Google self-driving cars can even detect cyclists, pedestrians (jaywalking ones too), buses, crossing guards, and hundreds of of other distinct objects simultaneously.